Homeless in the Midwest
by Kate Freitag
I wanted to cover a more serious topic for my last backpack story in Blue Jay Journal TV because I wanted to showcase my journalistic abilities and the growth I've experienced as a journalist throughout the years.
I already had some familiarity with the growing homelessness problem in Washington. Yet, to be honest, I didn’t realize the true severity of the issue.
In November, I was honored as Rotary Student of the Month and was invited to a luncheon to be honored. At the luncheon, the Franklin County Homeless Task Force spoke about the issue of homelessness all over Franklin County. As I listened to them explain the severity of the situation, I instantly knew this would be a fantastic topic for my backpack. I felt like more people in my community needed to hear this story.
I interviewed two of the ladies who spoke at the meeting: Lindsey Jasper, the Washington High School Social Worker, and Amber Hunewill, a case manager for Grace’s Place Crisis Nursery. Both of their interviews provided me with substantial information regarding facts and statistics about the problem, but I felt like my story was missing a key element.
I was expressing my frustration about not having this critical element to the story when a friend of mine told me about the new youth pastor at First Christian Church in Union.
Codie Pointer experienced homelessness in his youth like many other teenagers do today. When I called him, he was more than willing to share his story.
After Codie’s interview, I slated and logged all my footage, then I wrote my script. Script writing came to me pretty easily since I already knew what I wanted to cover. The most challenging part of the process was telling such an informational story in 2 minutes. I cut the story down as much as I could, yet it still runs a little longer than the usual time our BJJTV stories air. However, with such a serious topic, the extra time further informs the community about the issue in order to bring awareness.
This is one of my favorite stories I have produced in Blue Jay Journal TV. I believe I have gained a lot of confidence in my work during the last couple of months and only push myself to produce my best work. I will be pursuing Journalism as a career at Mizzou and I could not be more excited to share with you the beginning of my journey as a journalist.