Lessons from the Mission

When I started Reporting 300, I was more than excited to get out in the city and start reporting. After working on the campus newspaper at the end of my sophomore year, I was less than excited when I learned that I would have to wait an entire semester after transferring before taking a journalism class that allowed be to do real reporting at San Francisco State University.

I was full of anticipation and eager to prove myself as a reporter while exploring the Mission District this semester. I was drawn to the district after first visiting the area the previous summer; I liked visiting the thrift shops on Mission and Valencia street as well as enjoying the panoramic views from the top of Dolores Park.

I found that most people were willing to talk to me. I’ve never been particularly nervous about talking to new people and I was usually successful when it came to contacting sources, including the elusive police captain of the Mission Police Department.

I think that many of my sources talked to me because of their passion in helping the local people and bringing awareness to different issues in the community. It was inspiring to learn about the different organizations within the district and how their work impacted different communities.

When it comes to my writing, I feel like this class has strengthened my ability to write feature-style articles. News writing is something that I feel is a strong point compared to my ability in writing feature stories so this class definitely pushed me to work on my weaknesses.

The most valuable thing that I took away from my work this semester is a renewed sense of curiosity and adventure. I spent most of my first semester in San Francisco  at home, at work or at school. This class allowed me to explore the city and get away from the stresses of school and work and instead focus on what I love to do.



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