Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

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Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Journalismstudent » Apr 7, 2009 6:52 pm

HEY ALL!!!

My name is Samantha and I am a journalism student at Indiana University. I am currently writing an article on Mexico caving or caving in general. I am in need of interesting and striking stories about caving. I am trying to show the readers the real dangers of caving as well as the fun side. The story is going to be either a personal profile on caving disasters (featuring you!!!) or just the general good and bad. Please let me know on here or (possibly later) via email if you have any stories to tell. This will be a completely professional article submitted to national and international magazines. The interviewing process will be short and sweet provided I have detailed information.

THANKS SO MUCH and I look forward to hearing your interesting tales.
I am here to learn.
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 7, 2009 9:08 pm

Your the latest in a long line of writers looking for "thrilling" caver stories of death danger and disaster.

Well, the first secret I will divulge is you needed to research your request a little better :) Cavers in general like to promote the sport and conservation of the resource as well as gain and keep good access relationships with cave owners since most caves are not owned by cavers. Promoting or writing about the "dangers" of caving, "caving disasters" and "striking stories" in national media or any other public forum for that matter generally does not accomplish that! It attracts reckless thrill seekers and teenage adventurers who end up needing to be rescued, it scares landowners with liability issues, and generally paints a poor and innacurate image of the people and sport in general.

We have been burned too badly too often. Your timing also sucks as there is a lot of perceived bad press related to cavers right now due to White Nose Syndrome.

On the helpful side, There is in fact a mexican cave studies (who do a lot of caving) group you should be able to find via google. Also, there is in fact another thread on this forum started by another aspiring writer seeking tales to be told.

I would suggest an alternative approach would be to profile a prominent caver and tie in stories and adventures from their career. People like Bill Stone who have caved extensively in Mexico and are now doing work for NASA, Hazel Barton a prominent caver and microbiologist, Dave Bunnel a cave photographer, and many others who could provide a great story.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Cheryl Jones » Apr 7, 2009 9:31 pm

:clap: :yeah that:
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby wendy » Apr 8, 2009 1:17 am

also there is a member on this forum that lives in Mexico, his name is Nico, maybe he could help ya.
"Blessed are they who learn from their mistakes. For they shall make, if not necessarily fewer of them, different and more interesting ones."

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time." - Tallulah Bankhead
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Teresa » Apr 8, 2009 9:57 am

Dear Samantha,
I am a long time caver and working journalist. Let me give you a few tips:
You say you are at Indiana University. Have you contacted Bloomington Grotto? It meets on your campus in the geology building. Go to www.caves.org (our parent page) and look up the contact info. I'm sure, since you are a student, they will be welcoming to you, as long as you don't storm in and say "I am a journalist and I'm here to help save you from obscurity!" I bet they could come up with a bit of the adventure slant you seek.
If you are indeed contemplating a career in journalism, the first thing you need to do when seeking interviews is to give people your full name, the name of your publication, or places you have had articles published, or that you are a freelance (with or without assignment) and an email or phone number for directly contacting you. Making a 'fishing trip' on an open board, without giving your whole name or contact info and saying "just post responses here" brands you as non-professional. You have to give some information to get some, and to get people to trust you.
You could do a much better service to the caving community to educate yourself on WNS, and interview some cavers, and make that the crux of your article, to counteract the hordes of poor journalists out there who are jumping to conclusions on the basis of news releases. It's a very timely issue, much more than "caving is adventurous." Cavers may ask to read any article you write before you submit it. While prior vetting is not standard procedure in much of journalism, if you aren't familiar with the topic at hand, getting one or two of the interviewees to look your work over for factual errors makes you look good, as well as responsible in cavers' eyes. Do a good job, and others will recommend you and may even seek you out with stories. Mess up bigtime, by being sloppy or promote caving as an X-Treme sport and you are toast to the cavers.
If you wish to continue this discussion, PM me, and I will give you off-board contact information. The journalism world out there is a jungle of razorwire out there right now. Be careful.
Teresa
P.S. Wyandotte, I'm working on a WNS article right now, for distribution outside the org caving community, in an effort to rehabilitate cavers and caver behavior as well as educate caving independents.
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Scott McCrea » Apr 8, 2009 10:11 am

You could write about me. I'm very interesting. :nuts:
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby HKalnitz » Apr 8, 2009 2:56 pm

Scott McCrea wrote:You could write about me. I'm very interesting. :nuts:


Personal Hygiene doesn't count :hitsfan:

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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Journalismstudent » Apr 14, 2009 5:21 pm

Thank you everyone for your responses and your criticism. I am not trying to portray caving as an extreme sport by any stretch of the imagination. Honestly, I just wanted to hear a few stories from actual cavers so that I could decide on an angle for my story. It was in the works, as most of you can understand, the beginning of an idea. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone already with my inexperience, but you all brought up interesting topics for me to think about already. For example, cave ownership, bad press and caving, etc.

Allow me to start over:
Hello all,
My name is Samantha Felix, I am a journalist from Indiana University. I am seeking interesting, not necessarily dangerous or deadly stories about caving, but I also won't turn those down. I am here to meet and contact REAL cavers! This would make my story more authentic. I am trying to work out the bugs in my ideas for caving stories, if you have any suggestions or topics that you would like to see covered as cavers let me know. I am here to learn from you. Thanks for your patients and feel free to contact me. :clap:
I am here to learn.
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 14, 2009 5:59 pm

The suggestion to contact the Bloomington Grotto is the very best one. You will meet real cavers with real stories and after they meet YOU they might even tell you the true ones :) The BIG has members who are both newbies and veterens and folks who have caved all over the world. One specific story idea I will suggest is a story on Anmar Mirza. He lives a reasonable distance from you and caves near Bloomington a lot, has a LOT of stories to tell, and I assure you he is nothing if not "interesting". He is also a recognized expert in Cave Rescue and has caved all over the US and abroad.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Journalismstudent » Apr 14, 2009 7:06 pm

Thank you and I was fortunate enough to find information on the Bloomington Grotto after their monthly meeting had already taken place. It saddens me, but I am grateful for the information!!!
I am here to learn.
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby wyandottecaver » Apr 14, 2009 7:35 pm

what is your deadline? The Indiana Cave Symposium will be held this Sat evening from 5-10:30ish at the Lawrence County fairgrounds near Bedford. Cavers from all over the state will be there. food is 5-7pm with presenters going from 7-10:30...although we often go late. If your interested you can let me know or go here: http://www.caves.org/survey/ics/symposium/icsymp.htm
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Journalismstudent » Apr 19, 2009 4:00 pm

I missed it, I don't check this thing enough clearly. My deadline is May 1, I guess. It's not set in stone or anything, but it has to be before the end of the school year which is mid-May.
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby Stridergdm » Apr 20, 2009 11:59 am

Journalismstudent wrote:I missed it, I don't check this thing enough clearly. My deadline is May 1, I guess. It's not set in stone or anything, but it has to be before the end of the school year which is mid-May.


Hmm, that's too bad since I was going to say there is the National Cave Rescue Commission week long class in June coming up. Lots of cavers there.

As for stories, I second the suggestion of coverage of White Nose Syndrome. Most people think bats are "bad" or "flying mice" etc. But they help greatly in mitigating insect issues. The number of bats we're losing is scary.

As for other stories, most will be mundane. Because the sport is far more mundane than many seem to think.

And if you can, try it yourself. A little gonzo journalism!
Cavers rescue cavers!
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby shibumi » Apr 20, 2009 12:24 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:The suggestion to contact the Bloomington Grotto is the very best one. You will meet real cavers with real stories and after they meet YOU they might even tell you the true ones :) The BIG has members who are both newbies and veterens and folks who have caved all over the world. One specific story idea I will suggest is a story on Anmar Mirza. He lives a reasonable distance from you and caves near Bloomington a lot, has a LOT of stories to tell, and I assure you he is nothing if not "interesting". He is also a recognized expert in Cave Rescue and has caved all over the US and abroad.


Thanks man. I'm not sure I'm going to tell the stories of my adventures anymore. Every time I post one I get
emails telling me that I'm giving people nightmares. Maybe it's just my writing style...

To the original poster, I'll be happy to answer questions you have, you can email me here and I'll provide
contact information.

Anmar
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Re: Journalism Student Seeking Stories for Article

Postby solominsky » May 6, 2009 10:15 pm

If it's not too late for the deadline, you may want to interview me and my experiences on the Tongass Cave Project in southern Alaska. This was back in 1999, however, it is as vivid as yesterday.
If it's easier, contact me via email as I'm not always on chat. It's solominsky@gmail.com
Hope this helps,
Joe
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