Monday, April 16, 2007

studying newspaper

Last week made me confident: the kind of hesitation and lack of confidence in talking with American people, interviewing them over phone and writing stories after verifying the information are not that hard task to me any more as I first feared and felt. I did not write any major story, only wrote obituaries, made stories from press releases and covered a hearing on Food Stamp program. But these were not at all insignificant.
I thank my mentor and editors here in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette very much because they did not ask me first to come up with big ideas and write major stories. It helped me a lot to get used to talking with people and learn how the newsroom works as they asked me to do these stories. In fact, it was a kickstart that I needed, and my office did not let me worry a little bit about it. I found the stage was already set for me.
I am now quite comfortable with the software the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette uses, and reading our stylebook and getting to learn the newspaper policy. I had to struggle and literally run to escape the chill of cold as there was snowfall and rain last week. I've bought an umbrella but it's certainly of little help to save you from the chill -- either of cold or rain -- when you walk on the bridge and it takes about 10 minutes to cross the river.
Although I had earlier shared with my colleagues my experience as a journalist in Bangladesh and what are going on in Bangladesh now, I had a brown bag lunch Wednesday at my office where i made a presentation on the same topics and took questions from my colleagues. While I am abroad, I am learning more and more about my country.
As the weekend was approaching, i truly felt very good at the thought that I’ll not need to go out in the cold. And my mentor Greg was simply great. Half an hour before I would leave office Friday, he invited me to dinner with his family, and there was no reason for me to miss the chance. Greg, his wife Rekha are very nice me.
Although I had an invitation to newspaper guild dinner Saturday, I didn't feel like attending it as it was very cold. But Greg, his sons Nik and Peter would not let me stay alone. I had a very good time Sunday. Although it was raining, we drove to the downtown, had lunch out there, visited Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning, the largest roman catholic church in Pittsburgh and several beautiful places.
I was otherwise bogged down Saturday and Sunday preparing for my April 18 presentation at Indiana Council on World Affairs. Hope everything will be fine there; I feel a little bit tension because it is my first such presentation.

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