This is a project of creating articles in different types in journalistic style to practice and understand the importance of writing for a community and specific audiences. Starting out this project I set out to write seven articles as if I were writing for Scroll, the school newspaper. I wanted to experience writing in a journalistic way. At the end I wrote five articles. Two articles are features stories, one is an event from the BYU-Idhao campus, one is a city council story, and one is a court case story. The other two I planned on accomplishing I did not finish because I did not interview the two people related to the events I covered.
My first feature story:
Carla Smurthwaite consumes about 2600 to 2800 calories a day to gain all the nutrients she needs. She cares about her body and strives everyday to take care of herself both physically and mentally.
An average woman consumes around 2000 calories a day. Smurthwaite participated in sports every year in high school and participates now in water polo during her second semester of college at BYU-Idaho.
Smurthwaite could lay on her bed, watch Netflix all day, and still burn a days worth of calories because of the excersise she particiated in throughout all of her high school years.
“I’ve done nine separate sports for a number of seasons: basketball for five years, soccer for four, gymnastics for one, tennis for two, water polo for four, swim for five, cross-country for one and track for two,” said Smurthwaite. As a child she also practiced ballet.
Smurthwaite studies as seriously as she plays sports. Her everyday routine in high school emphasizes her dedication to sports. She woke up, went to school, trained for sports, ate her mom’s cooking, studied for her classes and slept.
Smurthwaite keeps a 4.0 GPA and continues to study hard at BYU-Idaho her Fall 2022 Semester. She said, “I wouldn’t say I’m smart but I know how to gain knowledge which is a very important part of life.”
She started studying family and consumer science during the summer semester of 2022. With these studies, she hopes that her knowledge will benefit others in their future homes.
Her love to study the family comes from her own strong relationship with her family. They live in Rockland, California. Smurthwaite loves her five siblings. She grew up with two sisters and three brothers. Her family on her mom’s side and dad’s side all live in Idaho, Utah and California. They visit each other for important holidays and summertime. Her parents come from families of 10 and eight.
Smurthwaite strives to learn how to be a mother and learn the skills required to raise her future children and love them. She mastered the skills of sewing, cooking, child development, and psychology.
After graduation, Smurthwaite desires to use her degree to educate young men and young women on how to be more independent in their homes: cooking, cleaning and planning effectively.
Young adults around the world don’t know the skills necessary to survive outside of the home and Smurthwaite wants to make sure these people have a chance to make the most out of achieving their goals and finding motivation.
Smurthwaite also made another plan for after graduation. As a young child, her mother had a preschool in her home and Smurthwaite hopes to continue helping little children by having a preschool in her own future home.
Smurthwaite said, “It’s bringing that safe haven, stable home environment to those children while their brains are developing.” She wants to help children especially if they don’t have good parents or good nutritional health.
“If I can establish healthier safe habits, good positive feelings in the home while they’re young, it can bless their lives as they grow and continue to develop and have their own home,” said Smurthwaite.
“We all have different families. Our families affect us, the government affects us, the media affects us and the culture affects us as we grow up in our homes,” said Smurthwaite.
Smurthwaite wants her future children to know they are loved. She learned this from her parents, who reminded her every night.
Mom and dad always tucked her into bed, rubbed her shoulder, and ask one question: “Who loves you?” These three words motivated Smurthwaite to care for all the little children around her.
My second feature story:
Ping Chen seldom heard the words, “I love you” while she lived in Taiwan, not even from her parents. This was normal for people in Taiwan.
Chen wrote a poem about this particular Taiwanese Culture while in high school, through a story of a basic April Fool’s Day. She wrote this poem in mandarin which cannot be easily translated into English. The limited English words stop Chen from fully expressing her ideas.
This poem described a fun and playful day. Hidden in the imagery of a joyful day Chen added irony. She said, “I was just saying that that is the day we say “I love you” and then we laugh about it because we are like, you’re gross.”
23-year-old Chen lived in the south of Taiwan in the city, of Tainan. Chen described it as a city that never rests. Cars, motorcycles, and transportation travel back and forth at all hours. Bright and colorful art and historical buildings fill the streets.
Chen first left Taiwan to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Her flight headed toward California, Los Angeles where Chen gave tours in the Los Angles Temple Visitor Center.
Chen did not know English before starting her mission and she struggled to master the language while teaching others about her faith.
The president of her mission would help Chen with her English by telling her what she said wrong. “I would always feel disappointed because I always felt I think he was saying my English is bad. Why is he always correcting me?” said Chen.
Though the mission president had good intentions. “I had been out for five months and he asked me, ‘Sister Chen, how long have you been out on a mission.’ I was like, ‘5 months.’ He said, ‘Oh, your English improved faster than I thought,’” Chen said.
She talked about the blessings of struggling to learn a language. She relied a lot on her faith and took the time to understand what people felt and said in their hearts.
“And I’m able to respond to them and share the love of Christ with them in their language and it felt really amazing,” said Chen.
9-year-old Chen watched her parents become separated and she lived with her mom. At 14 Chen moved in with her dad because her mom ran out of money.
14-year-old Chen let the missionaries share a message with her about families. “I really thought it was a perfect moment because I was struggling a lot about family and why I am here and why my family is bad and why I feel I can’t be happy,” said Chen.
On the mission, Chen found a new family with the missionaries she taught with and decided with the help of her mission president to study at BYU-Idaho.
It scared Chen to leave her mom and dad behind, but she had the support she needed to stay in America after her year and a half on the mission.
She found more family among her roommates who encourage her to continue forward and to make fun experiences. The type of family who says, “I love you” and prays for her every day to find success.
Chen lived in America for almost 3 years. She began studying at BYU-Idaho in January 2022.
Chen does not know what to do with her education. Her goals are maybe to own a business or work in a company. For now, she focuses on finding fun with her roommates in between her studies.
Living with her dad, Chen’s father nudged her back into her studies when she wanted to have fun. Chen said, “he’s super strict. He didn’t allow me to go out with friends. He said that if you hang out with friends, ‘I would rather you read one more book.’ And I can’t play video games and I can’t play board games. I only had puzzles or coloring books.”
“I am not being successful about this yet but I am learning how to put down the homework and just have fun. And then come back. It’s hard but I am still trying,” said Chen.
Chen wants to be the person to hold up the people who need help because she wants to give back to the people who helped her.
Her roommates help Chen know her true family. They do family prayer every night. They pray for each other and especially pray for Chen so that she will feel their love every single day.
It makes up for all the days she never heard the words, “I love you.”
The Christmas Cookie Study Hall Event:
REXBURG- There will be free Christmas cookies, candy canes, hot chocolate, and apple cider served in the MC from Nov. 28- Dec. 15 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The 12 days of Christmas will come but first BYU-Idaho students endure the 12 school days of college classes left of the Fall 2022 Semester.
Vice President Amy Labaugh said the university started this event during the pandemic.
“People started needing a little more cheer,” said Labaugh.
The stresses of finals and projects loom over students and the Christmas vibes help students escape anxieties.
The university provided a place of relaxation, cookies and hot chocolate for students to come and bring their textbooks.
All students have the opportunity to bring their textbooks and anxiety to the MC.
The Christmas music and food make studying more bearable and relaxing with these few weeks left in the Fall 2022 semester.
The cookies come with motivational quotes, Christmas music, and a slideshow with pictures of Jesus Christ, the main focus of the Christmas season.
Labaugh said this event will be “uplifting and stress-free.”
Rexburg City Council Article:
REXBURG— In a vote three to two, city council members in the Rexburg City Council approved the new construction plans to add twin houses to the property south of Starview Drive, Wednesday, October 5,2022.
“I will vote because I believe it is the right thing to do,” said Mayor Jerry Merrill. “We have twin homes, townhomes, and condominiums in our neighborhood and it’s a wonderful neighborhood.”
Council members and Alan Parkinson, the region area manager, discuss new matters regarding the rezoning of the construction plan.
The city conducted a public hearing prior to this meeting and discussed the concerns of the residents living in the area and the developer of this project noted and resolved those concerns.
Council members mentioned two concerns, Wednesday, in the meeting. One resident worried about animals living on the property and another resident worried about the higher traffic resulting in building twin homes.
Parkinson said, “The developer is entitled to have access to any new information that he can have privy to so he can rebut it if he feels it is necessary.”
Councilman Robert Chambers said, “The resident that spoke with me expressed that there are two great concerns for the residence. One is the Density increase of development in this new area. And also there is a concern this will lead to greater traffic generation.”
“I believe that when we are talking about higher density we are talking about twin homes that LDR2 would allow and I just have a belief and experience to suggest that twin homes in a residential area are healthy,” Said Chambers in reply to the concerns above.
“I think it provides diversity in residential options. I think it provides affordable housing and I haven’t seen anything in the research I have done that suggests that twin homes generate few trips than a larger lot of single residents. So, when it comes to traffic issues and densities, I don’t think there are those concerns,” Chambers said.
Jake Young, the developer of this project, said, “Regarding animals on the site. I’ve visited the property and looked at it. We are not aware of anything endangered or significant in terms of habitat on it.”
“Even though there are concerns from some residences and I understand those, I still think it will be a wonderful neighborhood,” said Mayor Merrill.
The Court Case Article:
22-year-old, Jaelee Sierra Roberts pled guilty of felony, for possessing a controlled substance, Fentanyl, during a Madison court hearing on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
Roberts first received this charge on Aug. 8, 2022. She drove her car through Madison County and a police officer pulled her over for a traffic stop.
In a probable cause statement, the officer said he found pipes, foil and a melted blue pill. Roberts admitted the blue pill identified as Fentanyl.
Her sentencing will be held on Dec. 19, 2022. Roberts will be transported to Madison County for her sentencing.
This type of felony could punish Roberts with up to seven years in prison and/or up to a $15,000 fine.
Roberts lived in custody since Aug. 8, 2022 so she attended her hearing over zoom.
Challenges about this project:
Talking to people challenged me a lot while doing this project. In order to get the correct information about my topics I had to be reach out to many people and there were always people I couldn’t reach out to to finish the articles.
The biggest part about this project centered around shoing up to certain events. I needed to meet up for interviews, go to events, go to people before events, visit with them after an event and just talk to everyone. I have a hard time talking to people in general and after doing it so many times for this project I found it to be easier once actually getting into the conversation.
After talking to people it is important to start writing right away with the notes taken. Otherwise it is easy to forget the information you just gathered and the emotions felt in the moment that make up a great story.
After having a draft completed, it is important to go back and make sure there are no spelling or grammar errors in the writing because with grammar errors, it is easy to lose credibility as a writer.
I found it exciting to go to specific events, especially the city council meetings and the court case trials. I have never participated in those types of events and it was interesting to see what people are talking about to try and help the community grow and thrive. One time while I was at a city council meeting I watched as council members used legos to figure out a strategy for the buildings Rexburg will construct in 10 years.
I also learned a lot about the AP style writing used to make news quicker and easier to read. I know I am not perfect at this style of writing but I tried to make sure I used it correctly in my articles so they stated exactly what my audience needs to hear and understand.
It love writing so much. There is so much I need to learn still. Skills like writing quickly so I can meet deadlines for when news stories should be covered. I need to learn about how to take my writing to the next level of creativity to better capture my audience so they will want to read everything I write.
I learned how fun it is to reach out to people and ask them for their opinion about certain event and matters in life.