Ellie Cook

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The objective I found sometimes difficult was to assure the content was related to the subject we’ve focused on this semester. We had such a specific beat to focus on, and sometimes it became easy to lose sight of that focus. Neighborhoods on the west side of Salt Lake City have some individuality, but they also have a lot of similarities to other areas within the city. I found it tricky to sometimes differentiate as to why a certain story that took place in the western area of Salt Lake City needed more attention, while I could touch on the same thing in another area of the city.

I think the most moral/ethical issue I faced with this beat was being politically correct when talking about the populations in which I touched on. I didn’t want to come across as prejudiced and share inaccurate content when referring to certain classes, races, etc. and their involvement within certain areas of the city. That was a huge aspect of my articles and I needed to ensure I respected everyone regardless of race, age or class. Researching other articles written about similar subjects helped, as well as listening to the way politicians referred to these populations. I never want to sound politically incorrect, nor disrespect anyone as my goals are to represent people appropriately.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made things difficult for journalists. For me, I wasn’t able to conduct in-person interviews or visit locations I talked about within my stories. I wasn’t able to provide pictures or videos either. My compromise became contacting a giant amount of sources rather than hoping one or two would respond. This was to be sure I would have enough sources to touch on a subject, and I felt since I couldn’t visit these locations myself, interviewing more people who are there regularly would fill in some blanks for my article that I was unable to cover myself.

Overall things were pretty difficult during this time for reporting, but it was good practice for situations in which I won’t be able to get information firsthand. Many situations are out of our control, and it is important for other journalists and me to find other ways to cover stories in these troubling times.

ABOUT ME:

IMG_2367Ellie Cook studied communications with a minor in psychology at the University of Utah and graduated in the class of 2020. Some of her notable work in the communications field has been working as the fashion week coordinator for Trend Prive Magazine and as concerts vice-chair for the Associated Students of The University of Utah. Her writing work has been published in Trend Prive Magazine, U NewsWriting, and the Utah Communication History Encyclopedia. She’s also worked as a Youth Mentor at La Europea Academy, a rehabilitation home for adolescent girls that treats patients with mental health disorders, eating disorders, those suffering from substance abuse, etc. She hopes to one day combine her passion for writing and working with troubled teens and publish research articles regarding the psychology of adolescents. In her leisure time, Ellie enjoys volunteering with animals, participating in community theater, and modeling/acting for NIYA Management.