The Beauty of FRI

I’m not sure what to think as I prepare to leave for the Field Reporting Institute. We’ve been preparing for this trip the entire semester, so I feel mentally ready to cover the subjects we’ll be examining, but somehow, I don’t feel ready for the experiences.

I think that’s the beauty of this trip. As knowledgeable as one can be about a subject by reading up on it, nothing replaces actually experiencing trees being felled or cotton being picked, or floating over a flooded farm.

I hope to get a lot out of this trip. Obviously, the main objective is to find a story I can write about in great depth that I also find interesting. Getting it published in Farm Journal would be a huge plus, but it’s not the be-all, end-all for me.

Most importantly, I hope to gain a wealth of experience that could help me in my future reporting. I may have to do a story ten years down the line on people living in the floodplains, and this trip will prepare me with the practical experience to tackle this issue competently.

The most important thing for me is to keep my ears and eyes open, and prepare to drink out of the proverbial fire hose. I am definitely excited at that prospect.

-Steven Rich


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