Ryan Carrillo

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MY BLOG: IMG_0078_edited

This semester has really pushed me. Voices of Utah challenged me and helped me become a stronger writer, newsgatherer and reporter. The design of the class really benefited me. It simulated a newsroom with critical deadlines and a realistic editing process.

During this course I found it difficult to remain objective. Focusing on the local business beat was something I had never experienced before. This wasn’t hard hitting, breaking news. I wasn’t writing about controversial issues like I am used to. That means that there weren’t as many “sides” to each story. I found it hard to remove my own opinion from my writing more during these assignments than ever before. That struggle, however, helped me in the long run. I learned in the interviewing process to focus more on what the subject was trying to tell me. I stopped going into interviews with planned questions. Instead, I showed up ready to let the interview guide the story.

Obviously, perfect objectivity isn’t an achievable goal. It still is a standard I try to include as much as possible in my reporting. My first drafts of articles for Voices of Utah presented my opinion. I wasn’t transparent and I let my experience take center stage each time. Through my improved newsgathering skills I now have the ability to leave myself out of the story even if there aren’t necessarily different sides. I can still strive to be objective even when writing a feature. I also found that as I tried to be more transparent and accurate that naturally my objectivity or fairness improved. I learned how to fully disclose my newsgathering process in articles and as I did so I would leave my opinions out of my work.

The beat taught me so much. Prior to this class my writing had fallen into three categories primarily: political, social commentary and general news. I had never written business articles before. At first I had no idea what made a good business article. I found myself paying more attention to CNN Money and Forbes articles in an attempt to gain some background.

When we started the course I was skeptical about the beat, simply because I knew next to nothing about it. My experience, however, would be extremely positive. I got to write three exciting stories about businesses I chose. They all had important meaning to me in one way or another.

This course changed my understanding in the community. It really helped me see Salt Lake City in a new way. I was exposed to businesses that I never knew existed, like Zest Kitchen and Bar, which focuses on healthy, organic meals that are naturally gluten-free and vegan. I had no idea that there are business opportunities in Salt Lake City for refugees from other countries to open their own food businesses through Spice Kitchen Incubator.

I learned that Salt Lake is more diverse than I originally thought. I discovered so many unique things about this great metropolis while writing these articles.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I had during this class. I know it will be one of the highlights of my academic career. Now that I am wrapping up my final semester I can appreciate everything that this course has done for me.

ABOUT ME:

I graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism in May 2015. During my studies I was fortunate to have amazing professors who taught me so much about the field. Classes like Voices of Utah, Convergence Journalism, Opinion Writing, Media Law and Magazine Writing, among others, all had a profound impact on me and helped me develop a strong skill set to pursue the field I love.

I developed strong writing skills through my studies. I also gained great experience in Adobe creative programs, website design in Wix and WordPress and a strong understanding of Final Cut Pro.

Over the summer 2014 semester I was able to work as a newsroom intern at KTVX (ABC 4) in Salt Lake City. That was an incredible opportunity that gave me real life experience. I wrote a lot of online content for the station, helped pitch and develop stories, conducted interviews, assisted reporters and anchors regularly and did a lot of research on a variety of topics.

While at the University of Utah I also did a lot of freelance writing for a variety of organizations. I was a political reporter/writer for Utah Political Capitol, a social commentary writer for the Salt Lake City branch of Newscastic and a financial blog editor and writer for Deseret First Credit Union. I also launched my own website, glutenfreeslc.com, which is geared toward maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle in Salt Lake and the surrounding area.