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Web Development Skills Comes with Voracity

1h2o_logo

Voracious, bulldog, hungry – those were words my editor Joseph B. Treaster at the Knight Center for International Media said needed to describe me if I truly wanted to be a journalist. He reported for over 30 years at the New York Times, which makes those adjectives perfect to describe his professional style.

I learned quite a bit from him about being persistent and speedy. It came in handy as I worked as his Associate Editor on 1H2O.org, an online magazine about the worldwide water crisis. Part of my job was to edit and gather content as well as work with freelance journalists around the world reporting from their respective hometowns, such as Marko Phiri in Zimbabwe and Ada M. Alvarez in Argentina.

And because the journalism job market in Miami was tough, I decided to apply some of my newfound voracity in learning and practicing web development skills. So not only did I maintain 1H2O.org, but I also had the opportunity to develop the design and structure for the following two websites.

Knight.miami.edu – The Knight Center for International Media focused on stories for positive change in communities around the world.

Knight Center for International Media

Aguasnegras.glocalstories.org – Aguas Negras or “Black Waters” is the term used for the polluted water source for Mexico City and surrounding farmlands. Photojournalist Janet Jarman investigates how this environmental issue affects the locals and their businesses.

Aguas Negras - A Report by Janet Jarman

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Front of the Business Section

As part of an internship at The Miami Herald, my beat for an entire year was to cover a small town south of Homestead called Florida City. Every other week, I would go to the city council meetings to find issues worth reporting. And in between, I wrote features.

Because it was a small town, I started to feel a part of it. Mayor Otis T. Wallace, who had been the mayor for almost two decades, and the other council members were very sweet with me and always willing to provide information and answer my questions. I even bumped into my elementary school principal – a local and friend of the mayor. Small world!

So it became pretty interesting to learn the ins and outs of Florida City’s administration and to see it grow in ways outsiders wouldn’t expect.

My biggest story on this town turned up on the business section’s front page for the Herald. (But read it on this blog that picked up the story.) A colleague told me it took her five years to accomplish the same thing. You might expect me to boast at this point, but instead I’d like to thank my editor at the time, Donna Gehrke-White, for mentoring me. She was very hands-on and taught me how to write a decent news story.

Thank you Donna!