Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Writing about murder- Journaling about journalism

I promised in a twitter message that I would write about my experience on covering my first murder trial.

As this is a journal of my experience, not a news article, you will be reading some of my opinion.
Once again, I am not a lawyer, a judge, or on the jury. This is a story coming from an up-and-coming journalist who is LEARNING. Thus, this article despite my best efforts, may contain an error or two. Treat this like Wikipedia, not the L.A. Times.
Got it? Good.

The night before:
I was in class, stressing out about what I should do for my court article. It had to be on a criminal trial. The teacher was excellent at giving several tips including who I could rely on for information (read: not the court reporter, clerk, or judge. Who is left?) regarding the background of a specific case.

NOTE: I didn't have a clue what I was going to report on last night. So I asked God to help me out.

Morning and Afternoon.

When I went into the court house, everything worked out PERFECTLY. While going through the metal detector, I asked an Sheriff's department officer if he knew of interesting cases today. He said that there was going to be something going on in A-5 at 11. A CLUE!
So I went to A-5 around 10-1030. The judge was hearing several cases.
I approached the baliff's in the room and asked for more information, which they provided.
I also was able to talk to one of the detectives in charge of the investigation. He was also a witness.
I obtained contact info from both the prosecutor and the defense to obtain a statement later.
It really was like a puzzle. Getting one whispered clue about where I should be at such and such a time or who I should talk to to get specific information.
So, some tips for my fellow freelancers and beginning journalists:

Things I have learned last night and today:
1. Baliffs are your best source for background info.
2. Be careful of how loud you ask certain questions and be aware of your surroundings as you don't know who might me behind you e.g. the defendants family.
3. Remember, ANYTHING said in a courtroom is public and can be legally written about. Use your own discretion.
4. Be Bold. Don't be intimidated. Some people won't like you. Some people will. Please the people is not your job, telling the truth as accurately as possible is.
5. Nevertheless, be sensitive. Having had family in prison for crimes, I can tell you it is important to remember what your words will do to the families left in their wake.

Well that, is about it. 'Til next time

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Untitled by the Moment

"Untitled by the moment" Jacob Nahin

Have you ever felt like running away? 
A roller coaster, life, what a trite analogy
but fitting.

Time to start the next stanza,
next thing on the list,
pass the shovel please.

Performance based culture
It sucks
the life out I mean

Life, life, life
running around and 'round and 'round
the merry goes around
or does it?

Penny-less people
and pockets full of cash
both are alike:
eyes look at the ground

Smiles, smiles
these are a few of my favorite things
minus the tears
except when they help

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I'm Rich!

Ok, Picture This:

A large diamond. A wall, forget that, a Truck Load, naw, too small, a 60,000 sq. ft HOUSE full of the latest and greatest in fashion and technology designed by the best in the biz. And that is just the start.

A beautiful wife (or husband), just the beginning. A person who is fully and completely all that you have, do, or could ever hope for in a lifetime mate. I mean, this person has it all. Personality, physical-ity (my own word?), Godly, good mom (or dad), the perfect balance to who you are. Yeah. Cool.

Not enough. Now you have the best children. Not always obedient (cause where is the fun in that?), but definitely the best. They run, jump, swim, and play.

Now, maybe the house isn't your style. Maybe you want quaint, small. Maybe you want to be single for life. Maybe you don't want kids
Whatever life looks like in your dreams, wherever your highest imaginations take you, go there for a moment.
Come on back.
The point:
The one who has all of that, and just that, is still a pauper compared to a Christian. Guys, Jesus, this Jesus whom we love so much, He is REAL. I mean REAL REAL, like more real than the bed you are sitting on or the chair you are sitting in, more real than school, more real than the disasters and the blessings of this life. He is real, and He is coming back. Now that IS cool. Man, I love Him.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

No cause for love

A couple of days ago, I had a revelation, definitely God inspired.

Love does not have a cause.
More specifically, God's love doesn't have a cause.

Think about it. He has always existed as has His nature. Therefore, Love, a part of His nature, is eternal.

Cool. So what? What this means is that I never caused or did anything for Him to to make Him love me, He just does. Wow. And because I didn't do anything to get Him to love me and desire me in the first place, I can't do anything to make Him stop. Cool.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, October 5, 2007

Walls and Posters and the existence of Something or Someone beyond us.

I'm sure that you have been in a room with a blank wall. I mean totally bare. Not a poster, picture, award, plague, drape, curtain ... you get my point. Just white primer.

Well if you have then there may have been something at the back of your head that asked, "Why isn't there something on this wall?"

At least with me it did. And that led me to this line of questioning:

What is it in us that longs for there to be something to take up that blank space?
Why is it there?
How did it come to be there?
Who or What put it there?
When did it happen?

Why do we desire to create? To design?