An Afternoon on Mass St

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October 25, 2012 by kujhawk

This past week for class, we were told to break out of our “comfort zone” and go somewhere to find out what people wanted to hear more about in the news. Well I can say right off the bat, that it is not easy stepping outside of yourself and doing this, especially if people do not want to talk to you. I decided to wander Mass St for a couple of hours on Tuesday afternoon and see what I could conjure up.

The first few people I passed by a hesitated and didn’t say anything to them. I’ll be honest, I was a little bit intimidated at first. But all it takes is getting that first interview out of the way, and then things start to roll.

I walked up to a guy playing the guitar for money. I let him finish the song he was playing and then I gave him the spiel. I’m a journalism student, blah, blah, blah. He was surprisingly articulate and informed on current events. Turns out he was hitchhiking from Oregon to Iowa to look for his estranged brother. Crazy stuff. He wanted to know more about the presidential election and also wanted to know how he could make more money (he was joking about this…I think.)

After talking to this guy, I felt more open to the idea of this assignment and began talking to a few more people. Most of the conversations I had were political, which is not surprising since the election is only days away. I talked to a guy walking his dog who wanted to know about leash laws and how the dog park is maintained.

Overall, it was a cool afternoon that I would not mind doing again.

Story idea 1. How much money is spent every year on local parks and how that compares to other city organizations and projects.

Story idea 2. KU’s campus is known to be pretty liberal. Doing a profile on the College Republicans might be an interesting story. It could talk about how they get members and if it is a struggle to get them at a more liberal campus.

Story idea 3. A story on several of the street musicians who play at various corners on various nights on Mass St. These people have interesting and sometimes unbelievable stories. It could also just be about one in particular.

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