Last Friday, a Lindenwood Student was killed by an accident on the highway. The school was in shock and I had only met the rugby player a handful of times. The name of the student was Charles Labry and he was one of a kind as many people came to tell me over the process of covering this particular story. Coming into my content week I was assigned this story and everything that came along with it. Memorials happened over the weekend, and I wasn’t able to attend those gatherings. Although they had over 200 people who attended some of them, which is pretty insane. Learning how to go about it was something that I definitely didn’t expect to experience here, at least at Lindenwood. Yet, the show must report what is important to our demographic, even when it makes people uncomfortable.
Local News Channels reported on the accident the morning of, but couldn’t name the fatality because his parents hadn’t been informed yet. Friends around campus spread the news quickly and people gathered around the Spellman center in search of answers from anyone who knew what happened. Having been an international student from France, many of the school’s French population were grouped together as well. The problem for me was finding the right people to interview about the entire situation.
This Is Where I Begin
Starting out, I was able to talk to the men’s Head Rugby coach, JD Stephenson. He made it very simple and easy to interview. He was the only interview I could get for Monday’s show since I was set up to interview the University Chaplain later that day and Charles’ friend the day after. So for Monday’s newscast, we aired the Vo-Sot as the lead story since it was so relevant and had such an huge impact on the school. Having that lead story and interviewing the coach made me realize just how big of a story that really was, sitting ontop of my shoulders.
After interviewing the University Chaplain and one of Charles’ teammate/friend, I was able to put the package together. One problem I encountered here was finding the right b-roll to put into the package. It turned out to be fine because I got enough shots on the highway that seemed relevant to the story in general. Yet, showing the public more information about the memorial and things about Charles was were it lacked more specifically. Overall the package turned out great. It was most definitely a learning experience working with such a sensitive yet serious situation that cried for attention. In the end I’m so happy that I was able to report on this incident and be able to voice how Lindenwood and its students were feeling. Talking to his teammate especially, made me realize I am the voice of whoever this story effects whether I like it or not. It’s up to me to decide what angle, what mood, and what perspective to take on it all. It sounds like a load of pressure but really, it’s what I’ve come to love more and more everyday.
Reporting for LUTV News, I’m Dennise Ramirez.