The Real Deal

This year is one I have been looking forward to for almost 2 years.

Some people say millennials are lazy, think everything should be handed to them and have no drive for the future. I don’t like being called a millennial for this very reason. I am the complete opposite, and I have been since childhood.

I took an online summer class last summer and 17 credit hours last semester in an effort to get into my emphasis area in the Journalism School early. I am now in my first semester of broadcast journalism. I have been working towards this for over a year and I have been hard working and driven the whole way.

As a part of my Broadcast News 1 class, I work a shift at the NPR affiliate radio station in Columbia; KBIA. Last Thursday was my first shift and I loved it, challenges and all.

Some people say it’s important to get involved in what you think you want to do before you do it in class, just to make sure you like it, but that was not necessary for me in this case.

I worked on a story about Ameren Missouri, an energy company that powers most go the state of Missouri and surrounding areas. Noranda Aluminum, located in the boot heel of Missouri in New Madrid, close to the Tennessee border, filed a complaint against Ameren because Ameren supposedly earned more money than the state allows in 2012. In 2012, they earned $80 million more than the state allows. Predictions forecast Ameren for over earning for 2013 as well. Noranda argued for the Missouri Public Service Commission to overlook Ameren’s paperwork and see why they over earned and how to resolve the situation. Noranda also asked for a decrease in rates, for which they employ Ameren to power their aluminum smelter in New Madrid.

After getting this story, I did tons of research online. I was able to get a phone interview with a Noranda representative, and a press release from Ameren. In class, we always learn about how important stories always have conflict, and this one surely did. Noranda didn’t like that Ameren admitted to over earning and wanted a decrease in rates, while Ameren said they strongly disagreed with the complaints filed against them and didn’t think Noranda should get a rate decrease because they already have the lowest rates in the state.

While this may not seem entertaining to the common individual, I got a thrill out of doing the story. It wasn’t the conflict specifically; it was the fact that I was being a real broadcast reporter and doing what I have dreamed of since I was 6 or 7 years old. I was even able to hear my reader-ack being broadcasted on the radio that night. What a joy.

I am so grateful for the experience of reporting at a radio station, even though I want to be a TV anchor. Hearing people’s stories and telling both sides is something that is important to me and something I love to do. I only hope that my success continues and I am able to get great stories again and again.

Here is a link to the web story from my KBIA shift Thursday: http://kbia.org/post/noranda-aluminum-files-two-complaints-against-ameren-missouri

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