Day 4 – Big day at Mosaic

Mosaic roommates Emily Luong and Maya Diaz pose for a picture in front of the green screen in the SJSU broadcasting studio.

Mosaic roommates Emily Luong and Maya Diaz pose for a picture in front of the green screen in the SJSU broadcasting studio.

By Emily Luong, Mosaic Staff

It’s been a big day for all of us at Mosaic. Someone finally called Lauryn back, Anais and Sunny went to interview soccer players from Mexico and Chile (and Sunny’s story might make the entire population of Mexico hate her…), and I finally sorted through all of my quotes from my interviews yesterday. We also got to see the broadcasting room, which was such a cool experience. I never really understood how green screens worked until today. We took roommate pictures!

More importantly, however, we were in the same room as Hector Tobar. For two hours. Hector. Tobar. Oh my god.

I mean, this guy has a Wikipedia page! That’s a big deal, in my book. To me, that means you’re important and well-known enough to be written about by other people. To have strangers invested in your life is an honor and a measure of success.

Or they could just be creepy stalkers. But I’d rather think of it the other way.

Hector shared advice that was actually useful and original, not generic “be creative” cliches, which I appreciated a lot. Some of this included the following: If you’re writing a dry story, invest yourself in the details, humanize the subjects, and don’t go to an interview with a list of questions without being open to having an informal conversation. As someone who is new to journalism, the fountain of information that Hector was offered an almost overwhelming experience.

In order to take his advice, Claudia suggested a change in the lead of my story, which will involve contacting one of the teachers I interviewed yesterday…someone I don’t know. This’ll be an interesting experience, if anything, and I’m excited to see where it’ll lead.

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Day 4 – Stop getting distracted

Mosaic writer AJ De Las Alas sneaks a photo of herself, Emily Luong and Mosaic instructor Claudia Melendez while everyone's hard at work. // Photo by AJ De Las Alas, Mosaic Staff

Mosaic writer AJ De Las Alas sneaks a photo of herself, Emily Luong and Mosaic instructor Claudia Melendez while everyone’s hard at work. // Photo by AJ De Las Alas, Mosaic Staff

By AJ De Las Alas, Mosaic Staff

I always tell myself I’m going to wake up early in the morning, but so far, that hasn’t been working. My alarm was set for 6 AM, but I got up at 8:15 AM. I spent most of today in the newsroom, which is fine because the environment is relaxing and peaceful. Whenever I need help on my stories, I can easily ask the person next to me or one of the editors. Emily sits next to me in the newsroom and is always working diligently. I should probably stop getting distracted and start working hard like her.

For lunch, a few of us went out to try the food truck on the SJSU campus. We each ordered a calzone and were unimpressed with the taste. The calzone was basically an expensive hot pocket but more bland and dry.

I finished my Starbucks story, which is good because now I can put complete focus on my next story. I’ll be going to a vigil for the Orlando victims later today, and hopefully, I’ll be able to get some good interviews.

Day 4 – The most exciting place in San Jose

Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Tobar speaks to the staff about his experiences in the field // Photo by Sophie Penn, Mosaic Staff

Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Tobar speaks to the staff about his experiences in the field // Photo by Sophie Penn, Mosaic Staff

By Sophie Penn, Mosaic Staff

Today we got the opportunity to see the broadcast room on campus. We got to check out the green screen, and even got to sit behind the desk and watch as our backdrops changed on the TV screen. Did I mention that Marcos brought his super cute daughter? She was adorable, I think she should definitely be a permanent member of Mosaic. She hung out in the newsroom all day playing with her toys. Honestly, I was a little jealous. I miss coloring books!

After lunch, Hector Tobar met with us and explained how he became a journalist. It was really inspiring to see how he had gone from a high school student who had never taken a journalism class, to a famous reporter for some of the biggest publications in the U.S. He also gave advice on pursuing journalism as a career. Unfortunately, I was so exhausted that I kept spacing out while he talked. Whoops!

I’ve been stuck in the newsroom pretty much all day, and I think it’s safe to say that this is not the most exciting place to be in San Jose. I was hoping to get out and take some more photos around the area, but no one needed me today. The good news is, I experimented with a shallow depth of field and a 70-200 mm camera, and I am completely obsessed!! I lowkey feel like a stalker zooming in on people from 20 ft away, but it’s extremely entertaining. Deadlines are tomorrow, and everyone is starting to get stressed out. The next 24 hours should be interesting…

Day 4 – The week so far

Mosaic reporters Skylar De Paul and Sydney Welch pose with Will Clark and Nathaniel Major at Autism Night in AT&T Park.

Mosaic reporters Skylar De Paul and Sydney Welch pose with Will Clark and Nathaniel Major at Autism Night in AT&T Park.

By Skylar De Paul, Mosaic Staff

I keep forgetting to do these things. Since Monday, I’ve gotten all my interviews done and pictures have been taken. But lemme tell ya, this has been a crazy week.

I spent all afternoon on Monday and all morning on Tuesday trying to contact the PR and media departments for the San Francisco Giants in order to get access to interviews for Autism Awareness Night. It wasn’t working out, so even though I wanted to be on location for interviews, Marcos wanted me to stray from the Giants angle and focus on the issues with autism. Because the Giants’ PR managers were basically impossible to reach and weren’t responding to any of my emails, I reached out to Autism Speaks, the organization in partnership with the Giants for the event. Jacqueline reached out to me right away, and even offered to get me access to the VIP room that Autism Speaks held for the game, which was right next door to the famous Will Clark’s suite.

Take that, Giants’ media team, who emailed me back saying they were “unable to honor my request at this time.” Heh.

After Marcos freaked out for a bit and bought tickets for Sydney and I to get into the game, Joe helped us figure out the train schedule and drove us down for the afternoon. Sydney and I got on the 4:22 train to San Francisco, and got to the stadium an hour and a half later…then it got weird.

We took forever to meet up with Jacqueline because she had VIP tickets, but we had standing room only. SO. When we finally got to her, she only had one extra VIP ticket. Sydney waited outside, while I got to go up to suite 64 with Jacqueline. Lisa, one of the other ladies involved with Autism Speaks, gave me her ticket that had been stamped for reentry and snuck me out a side door and down a huge ramp so I could try to get Sydney up there too. After I got a text from Sydney saying, “I’m frozen,” I picked her up and we got in line for the VIP section. Heh. We got through security okay until they scanned Sydney’s ticket, which was my original ticket that they’d scanned before. The screen on this old lady’s scanner said “stop,” and I lightweight freaked out on the inside. I showed her the stamp on my arm and the stamp on my ticket and said, “She’s with me,” and that SOMEHOW worked. I STILL DON’T KNOW HOW THAT WORKED SO EASILY.

We spent the rest of the night in the Autism Speaks suite, interviewing parents, supporters, kids, and even Will Clark. We were getting hecka hungry and they had good food all around, but I didn’t know if it would be unprofessional to just start eating their food. God bless this kid Evan who asked if we wanted any pizza, because Jacqueline was standing next to him and when Sydney said, “Oh I don’t know if we’re allowed,” we got permission. GOD BLESS YOU, EVAN.

We left the stadium around 9:45 and walked back to the train, and everything was fine, until we realized our train didn’t leave until 10:45…SO. Starbucks was closed, Safeway was closed, but thank you Panera, who let us stay for half an hour past their closing time since we got there 20 minutes before. We rode Caltrain until 12:40 (ugh) and met up with Calyse, our savior who drove us back to our dorm and rescued us from the train station. Sydney and I ended up back at our dorm at 1am…but it was definitely a great day.

Yesterday was all listening back to interviews and writing down quotes. I got a good start on my article and Sydney took some great pictures to go along with it. I spent an hour and a half wandering around the tower around the corner from Dwight Bentel Hall on the phone with my mom.

But now it’s go time, and as Marcos said, “work work work.”