Day 3

My third day of internship is marked by a quiet beat, not as explosive as the previous day’s events.

In the morning, I did my routine calls. I phoned the different police precincts covered by my Southern Police District beat. In every station I inquired about the latest crime and police reports that could be used for police stories in the Inquirer.

Most of the stations said nothing of significance happened in their area. Some sounded apprehensive while others utterly confused as an unknown intern from the Inquirer sought crime information from them.

I covered Pasay, Makati, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Taguig and Pateros. Of the seven police stations, only Las Pinas managed to give a report albeit a low-profile one. They faxed two reported incidents. The first one involved a man who allegedly died of cardiac arrest while walking towards his gym. This is not newsworthy, I thought.

The second incident, though still not of national significance is a lot more newsworthy than the cardiac arrest story. It was about a part-time driver who allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself inside his home. It was a tragic story. His neighbor and friend left the man still alive to buy food in a nearby stand. But when he returned, he found him already hanging by his neck from a black cable wire tied around a wooden beam.

I wrote the story and gave it to my reporter as usual. I waited for him to call me so that he can criticize my work, but it seems that he is not up to full-time mentoring. Oh well, I thought.

After writing the story, I had nothing else to do for the remainder of the day. I read the newspapers and compared the news in the major dailies. I also studied the writing style of the crime and police stories. I can say I’m learning a lot in news writing. I admit that I have not mastered the craft in my J 102 and it is only now that I’m learning how to write news.

If ever I’ll teach news writing, I recommend giving my students daily writing assignments to keep them sharp.

News has a certain language and melody which until now I can’t fully grasp. I think this is a result of not mastering the writing style early in my writing career. I have no trouble with long-form writing like feature, but when it comes to the succinct news, I get upset.

Aside from writing, I also set out to update my news verbs and nouns list. I have long planned to make a list of the action verbs and concrete nouns often used in certain stories to help me write faster. I am able to add several verbs and nouns during my free time.
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