I did a story about pedestrian safety in Morgantown. There have been many pedestrian/vehicle accidents and I thought it was important to do a story about it. Professor Dahlia wanted me to speak to a student that walks all over campus and get his/her perspective about how safe he/she feels. She also told me to speak to a police chief or sergeant about how common it is.
I got my interviews and b-roll mostly in one day. In the evening I log-and-captured it, and the next day I edited after meeting with Professor Dahlia. My first interview took place outside of the Mountainlair, and that is where I shot most of my b-roll. I had a problem with my audio and couldn’t use some of the footage, so I had to get a new interview after my night class. That interview took place inside the Mountainlair because it was already dark outside.
I interviewed Chaz Jones inside the Mountainlair. She is a student at West Virginia University and she told me she walks everywhere, but uses the PRT too. Jones said she feels worried when she crosses the road because she feels that drivers in Morgantown do not care about pedestrian safety. Jones also feels that pedestrians need to be responsible and not talk or text when they’re crossing the street.
Sergeant Bryon Hennessey said even though Morgantown has experience an increase in pedestrian and vehicle accidents, it is still normal compared to other cities. Sergeant Hennessey said Morgantown is lucky that the number isn’t actually higher. His biggest advice is for drivers to use more caution and to not go if they feel a pedestrian is going to cross the street. He said pedestrians need to look both ways and then look again to be on the safe side.
I learned an important lesson with this story, because I was on a deadline and was rushed. I had to get up early and interview Sergeant Bryon Hennessey with the Morgantown Police early the following morning before my meeting with Professor Dahlia. I was in a hurry and did not like being rushed. Shooting this story taught me a valuable journalism lesson. From now on I will constantly be checking my sound in the field to make sure it’s good. I got lucky and was able to get two interviews, but I won’t always have time to reshoot. From now on I’ll constantly be checking audio levels.
What really help me was thinking ahead about the types of questions I wanted to ask. Even though I was rushed for both interviews, I was still thinking about the questions for both while I was in class and while I was driving to my interview with Sergeant Hennessey. I learned to shoot early in the daytime to get good light and to give me enough time in case I do need to reshoot quickly, but hopefully next time I’ll do it correctly on the first try. I had problems laying my video on the tape, but I’m going to go back and re-add it this week for Professor Dahlia.
I hope this story teaches people to just pay attention and use more caution when they’re driving or walking. Both parties are responsible for keeping the roads a safe place to drive and cross.