Today was a long day. But, I learned a very important lesson. Here’s how it went.
I’ve been a bit nervous about how many stories I was getting on my GA shifts, so I voiced my concerns to my editor, Liz. She told me to come in with a list of half a dozen or so pitches and we could work on a story and have it ready to edit and print the next day on GA. So, I came in today with a really good idea about this local record store, Hitt Street Records, that just opened downtown. She gave me the OK and I spent hours today in the store observing the flow of customers and talking to the owners. I organized for a photographer to go with me and take photos. It was all good. Until, a customer casually mentioned that they had seen the story in VOX magazine last week. Yeah, the VOX that’s a sister publication to the Missourian. A sense of dread filled me, Oh God. I had checked the Columbia Missourian like a good reporter to make sure nobody else had covered it… but I didn’t think to check VOX. Dun, dun, duhh.
So I took my five pages of notes and walked my sorry butt back to Lee Hills Hall. I told Liz what happened, she double checked online and sure enough, there it was. A whole profile on the new business. Needless to say, the next few minutes were painful to hear. I was so mad at myself for doing something so stupid. I had tried so hard to go above and beyond, to work on something extra, and I had blown it. Liz and I went around and apologized to the editors and photographers for making the mistake and taking up their time. But at the end of the day, she told me she was proud of me for coming up with an idea, pitching it, reporting it, and working with photography all in one day. She told me to keep the enthusiasm, but to learn from my mistakes.
As I was driving home with a friend, I awarded myself an A for effort. I may have failed miserably but I put my all into it and now I know for next time to triple check everything before I do anything.