May 21, 2006

TRAINING: Cleveland ROCKS!

The AP put us into pods, meaning a writing mentor and a photo mentor each supervised a writer and a photog team. My partner was an incredible photog named David. Our story focused on Cy and Mary Buynak. They serve as hosts for the Cleveland Indians visiting clubhouse.
That week my hometown team, the Kansas City Royals, played the Tribe. The AP arranged for our all access MLB credentials. The AP journalists who regularly cover sports enviously said our access was unprecedented.
I learned to overcome my fear of sports. In doing so, I had to interview the Royals after they gave up two runs in the last inning losing 6-4 to the Tribe. I gotta tell you, talking to losing players in the locker room isn't a fun thing. Maybe because I’m so ignorant of sports doing such a thing is incomprehensible--but I did it. I feel good about my reporting but the final product didn’t meet my substandard.
I worked on a 500 word limit but other teams ended up with over 1,000 words. I feel compelled to rewrite the story. I’ll do so this week and e-mail it to David as he wants to put it on a website with his photos. I know he had to be disappointed in the final story--I was.
I wish I had gotten to know the other participants better. Being an introvert makes it difficult for me. Although I think talking to the pitcher who gave up the winning run might be a good example of walking through my fear. I also met some good AP mentors. In fact, two photo mentors work in the KC bureau.
Overall, I had a great experience and encourage others to apply for the Diverse Visions/Diverse Voices workshop.

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