When I first registered for this course, I didn’t really have any idea what I was getting into, but I was excited to get to work with the Richmond Times-Dispatch in some capacity and to get to cover this bike race that everyone was talking about. When I first talked to Jeff South prior to our first meeting at the RTD, he said that we would be doing something more along the lines of Q&As with tourists in town for UCI. Q&As with people on the street would’ve been still a little nervous about, but I had already worked on reporting skills like that, so it was something that I would’ve known the basic structure of.
Something I had no idea how to do, however, is journalism through Twitter and live sports coverage. I had to write a tweet every 15 minutes for a twelve hour shift, two days in a row! I was a little overwhelmed, and to make matters worse, I forgot to pack a lunch the first day.
I adapted quickly. Once I settled into the groove of the job, people like Paul Whelan and Phil Riggan were super helpful, and to be honest, I got really swept up in the fervor of the race by the last couple days. Running around the office trying to find the live results and the names of whoever was in the break-away (and even learning terms like break-away and peloton) was actually pretty fun, and seeing people retweet and reply to the posts I made on the Twitter was really rewarding. For a few days, I was going to the Richmond Times-Dispatch and working full shifts like a real life reporter!
It was definitely an experience I won’t forget, and the social media skills that I picked up and the connections I made with people at the Times-Dispatch are already proving super valuable.
Thanks for the opportunity!