2nd draft, problems with relevancy

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2nd draft, problems with relevancy

Postby patfeeney » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:29 pm

Here's the second draft of my personal statement. My main problem is that I do not really show why I would be a good contender for law school, even though the main thesis of my PS is that I managed to grow from writing small stories for the school paper to working under an international news agency in under a year. Is there too little focus on any certain points? Is it boring? Does it not show enough of "me"? These are my biggest issues. I'm also working on a conclusion.

TL;Dr Fire away!

At 11 am, the [news] news team I joined for the summer was ending a full day of reporting. We arrived at Belmont Park before sunrise to promote the 144th Belmont Stakes the next day. One of the biggest in horse racing, the race tomorrow was especially big; a horse called I’ll Have Another was on his way to the first Triple Crown victory, racing’s Stanley Cup, in nearly four decades. All that stood in his way to the crown was one and a half miles of dirt at Belmont. Our reporter, [bob], prepared for his fourth and final live shot. The cameraman and producers prepared to leave. At that moment, [bob]’s phone went off. Rumors from the stables tipped that I’ll Have Another would forfeit the race and permanently retire. One hand frantically sweeping through Twitter feeds on my phone, the other carrying a bulky wireless microphone, the cameraman and I sprinted through dewy dirt toward the barns.

I hardly expected when I started reporting that I would race to get the scoop on a horse’s injured leg. My first real story was an event bulletin, published nine months earlier for my school’s weekly paper, the [school paper]. My initial intention was to get interview experience and connect with other students and locals.

Two weeks after joining, I covered a group of activists protesting in solidarity with the newborn Occupy Wall Street following. In the midst of interviews, I connected with a grad student arranging a caravan into Manhattan. We exchanged numbers. After presenting this opportunity to the editorial board, a group of eight reporters and myself trekked to Zuccotti Park and wrote a front-page feature for the paper. Later, I would take the city beat for the news section, which let me report on city politics, law enforcement, and hard news stories. This position required three or four weekly stories and finding sources for other writers. I became a front line for reaching deadlines. When a city police officer was shot, I stayed up until early morning listening to police scanners and calling police department representatives. To cover a fire at a local diner, I had to interview the owners, who were unreachable by phone or email. This required waiting in pouring rain for hours in the hopes that one of the proprietors might stop by the property over the course of the day.

After a year of high tensions at the [school paper], I managed to grab an internship with [news]’s New York bureau, working the international beat with [bob], normally the United Nations correspondent. Our team was limited to two producers and two interns, meaning everyone had to pull their equal weight. Due to my limited broadcast work, [bob] promised that the slow first weeks would allow me to adjust.

One week later I’m standing in a cramped, roped-off area with twenty other reporters by the entrance to the United Nations Security Council chambers. Waiting three hours or more for elusive quotes from international delegates became one weekly ritual in a ferocious schedule that would take us through several stories over the course of a single week. On Monday, we’d be crammed into a Greenwich village woman’s 100-square foot apartment for a video tour. On Friday, we’d struggle to interview a former prostitute in the back of a sex offender class. [bob]’s forte was politics, and every week we’d cover something political, whether it be delegations on Syria or the Taxi and Limousine commission’s policies to battle sex trafficking.

At Belmont, I watched a media circus explode before my very eyes. The cameraman and I waited two hours in blistering heat, watching dozens of broadcast vans and dozens of reporters cram in around a small podium to listen to the horse’s owner speak. The three live setups that were shooting promotions just before noon had expanded to a major encampment, with crews from every major news agency in New York. We ended up getting [bob] through half a dozen live shots – one of his busiest days in years.

I attribute my tremendous growth in journalism to finding a niche in politics that really drove me to excel. A growing awareness of government and global issues, strengthened through my politics major and a journalism curriculum centered around the effect of the news on world events, gave me a starting point with which to focus my stories and voice.

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