As a journalism student I like to believe I have a pretty good idea about the career I will find myself in one day. But nothing prepares you for your first reporting assignment.
I read the brief that seemed fairly straightforward. What followed was anything but. After meeting Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries representatives, I and the photographer made our way to the Food Lover’s Market in Morningside to report on the sale of illegally-sized rock lobsters.
I soon found myself stuck in a refrigerated storage room with seven other journalists, arguing with security and the police to let us out.
I surprised myself with how passionate I felt about my assignment and defending what journalism was all about.
Then it struck me only a person who wanted to be a journalist would defend journalism. The dispute was about the owner’s ignorance about the media presence at the department raid. This led to police intervention.
It crossed my mind I might get arrested – it was a typical “jumping in at the deep end” situation.
I loved watching the photographers defend their work when owner Ben Rubin and department director of communication Steve Galame demanded they delete their photographs.
Although I wondered how I would tell my parents I had been arrested, I was relieved it didn’t happen on my first assignment. Maybe next time.