Jake Phillips

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My Story:

BEYOND THE WATER CYCLE

My Blog:

I initially had a difficult time gaining inspiration for my enterprise story. I am honestly less than passionate about journalism and found it hard to find an interesting topic which I felt capable of tackling as a student journalist.

I wanted to do a story about the environment but didn’t know where to start. That winter had been especially dry and the inversion had trapped a lot of pollutants in the Salt Lake Valley so I thought that now would be a pertinent time to write a story about the environment.

Inspiration for my story came during a class one evening where my journalism class interviewed Patrick Shea, former director of the Bureau of Land Management. The class was interviewing Shea to practice interviewing subjects and writing profile pieces. While the class was interviewing Shea mentioned that he taught a class about water conservation to fourth graders at Rose Park Elementary.

I decided to write about water conservation education in Salt Lake City. I started my search by calling the city’s Department of Public Utilities, but I did not get a lot of information from officials there. I decided to ask my professor for Patrick Shea’s email so I could try to interview him.

When I contacted Shea he invited me to tag along with him when he went to Rose Park Elementary School to teach his class.  I was really excited to be allowed to come and see how Shea was teaching this group of fourth graders about water science and conservation.

Being able to go with Shea to Rose Park Elementary and eventually on a field trip with the class was crucial to me writing my story. Being able to talk to the students in the class and their teacher gave me an interesting perspective on why teaching water conservation to students is important and how the students were reacting.

About Me:

I am originally from Greenville, SC, where I lived for most of my life before moving to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah. I am a sophomore at the U where I am studying strategic communication. I began newswriting while taking a required journalism class in the spring of 2018.

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