Although Shannon Hurley originally fell in love with broadcast journalism, she is ready to change her focus to writing. The senior journalism major keeps busy with two bar-tending jobs and an online internship, but she is excited to cover the small business beat this semester. I sat down with Shannon to see how she plans to cover small businesses in Philadelphia.
Q: When/why did you choose to study journalism?
A: I first fell in love with broadcast journalism in high school when I became involved in television production classes and started to anchor the morning announcements. I wanted to be a reporter for a long time, but I have recently decided to move away from TV. I’ve always loved to write, so I think I’m going to start focusing more on that aspect of journalism.
Q: Why did you choose Temple University?
A: I chose Temple because I knew I wanted to be in a city, but one that wasn’t too far from home. I live about an hour and a half north of Philly, and Temple has the best journalism program out of all the universities in the city. I was so sure I wanted to go here that it was only one of two schools I applied to, and I only fall more in love with it every day.
Q: What are you involved in outside of school?
A: I don’t have a ton of time to be involved in many extracurricular activities because I work a lot at two part-time jobs. I’m a bartender at Maxi’s right on campus, and also at a bar in Fishtown called Fette Sau. Between the two, I usually end up working about 25-35 hours a week. I also have an online internship that I was able to continue with my boss after I participated in the Global Internship Program this past summer in Barcelona. Other than that, I love spending time with my friends and exploring Philadelphia.
Q: What beat did you choose? Why?
A: I chose the local business beat with my class partner because it was one that we both felt we were interested in and could find enough relevant and unique stories to write about. I also think that I can make it really interesting because there are so many different types of businesses, so I won’t be confined to just one topic or one type of article.
Q: What factors did you consider when you selected your beat?
A: I considered which beats I was most interested in, and then tried to think about how easy it would be to come up with different topics and story ideas within those beats. I knew I wanted to be able to have the same beat the whole semester without getting bored or reaching a point where it’s difficult to find a story.
Q: What ideas do you have for your beat this semester?
A: I’ve thought about interviewing someone from the restaurant and bar called Garage that’s unique to Philly and has been so successful it opened a second location. I’m also interested in the rise in vegetarian and vegan establishments in the city and the reasons behind that. And you gave me the idea of the woman who owns the comic book store!
Q: Have you ever written stories related to your beat? If so, what was that experience like? If not, how are you preparing for your beat?
A: I’ve never written any stories related to local business before, but I’m excited about the opportunity! I don’t think it’ll be too difficult because local businesses should be more accessible than larger, corporate businesses. To prepare, I might read some articles related to the topic and ask my friends if they have any additional connections I could use around the city.
Q: What are you goals for yourself and your beat reporting this semester?
A: I hope that I can put enough time into these assignments and treat them like real articles that will be published somewhere besides our class website. I’m also always looking for feedback and to improve my writing.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about this class and/or your beat?
A: I’m looking forward to gaining more experience in journalism and learning as much as I can.
Q: What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of your beat?
A: I think the most challenging aspect of the local business beat will be finding actual interesting stories to write about instead of simply doing a profile about the business.