Behind the scenes of a legislature reporter (this one, anyway)


I’ve successfully reported the very first half of the legislative session and have been through quite a lot. The majority of the experiences are good and quite silly and I would like to share them with you. Not a lot of people get to witness what’s behind the curtains of a Nevada Media Alliance reporter. Here, I share my experiences, in no particular order including: my efforts, encounters, and outcomes all while reporting for the Nevada Legislature.

  • My first real experience: Write a compelling article about a passionate protestor who is completely against the Nevada government.
  • Do some research on the passionate protestor and find out that the public has five restraining orders against him. Therefore, for journalism-student’s own safety, your exciting story had to be dropped.
  • Become an active tweeter and then accidently misspell or mix up information in one’s tweet.
  • Realize that you need to drink double-shot espressos before reporting anything.
  • However, gain a good crowd of followers because of your tweets (including legislators and reporters)
  • Work out your biceps by lifting and carrying the media kit.
  • Slide in between the icy lanes on your way to Carson City during a snowstorm (while going about 40mph).
  • Travel to Carson City for the second time in the same day after your reporting just to eat at Firkin’ and Fox.
  • Simply not paying attention to your surroundings and accidently back your car into some barricades at gas stations (this is where the importance of coffee comes in).
  • Have some jerk in a BMW throw a shake at you on the highway.
  • Have your allergies increase and stuff a package of Claritin-D in the media kit so you don’t forget it like you did the last time.
  • Hold a JVC camera, a Marantz recorder, a microphone, a notepad and pen all at the same time with only two hands.
  • Notice the outcome of your hands full of media tools is successful; a great news story is born (I deserve recognition of this talent in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not books).
  • Chasing down a legislator or another significant source – in heels (never again).
  • Go to class immediately after you return from Carson and forget to take off your press badge.
  • Blaring heavy metal and classic rock down the new U.S. Route 395.
  • Enjoy the scent of the pages in the blue 2013 Nevada Legislature Guide (I’m serious).
  • Shake the hands and socialize with other successful and inspiring local reporters and make sure that they know your name.
  • Discover that your favorite legislator is the one you wrote a profile on.
  • Notice that an investigative reporting class becomes your sidekick.
  • The temptation of testifying your beliefs during an engaging session.
  • Controlling your emotions when the equipment is running out of battery life before a session begins.
  • You get slightly bugged when testifiers don’t spell their 10-lettered last names or don’t even introduce themselves at all for the record – we need this, please!
  • Report during Spring Break from the live feed online; except, you get to stay in bed with your pajamas and snack on the baked goodies your mother made you.
  • Enjoy taking a ride to Carson with almost every partner on your team and get to know them more.
  • Find out that you have something in common with them like The Walking Dead, for instance.
  • That feeling of accomplishment you get after submitting your story to your editors.
  • The high fives and cheers they give you afterwards.
  • The feeling of fame you get when your article is the feature on the web page for 24 hours (hello, byline).
  • And last but not least (pardon my cheesiness) the overwhelming happiness you feel after meeting with your team members about what the focus is for the following week – and the adrenaline for that challenge.

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