For my NEWSY story, I will be using the NEWSY video “Feds Urge Schools To Provide COVID-19 Shots, Info For Kids.” I will use this to write a piece on the benefits of vaccinating your children. There are many news stories going around about children being vaccinated, both positive and negative, and it should not be difficult to find other resources on this story, such as statistics on child vaccinations and information from the CDC.

This is a very relevant story, as many people are worried about their children being vaccinated, and some people think it could be dangerous for their children, due to a lack of understanding in regards to how the vaccine works. The goal with this story will be to show that children receiving the vaccine is completely safe. Children need to get vaccinated in order to protect the public, and knowing the benefits could convince people of this.

This could especially be helpful for us HCC students, as many of us have younger family members, and those of us will want information on the vaccine so we know how our family members will fare when vaccinated. It is imperative that the people who need this information can get it, to show that this is a safe way to protect younger children.



Hyperlocal News

Hyperlocal news sites are focused in a specific area, so in looking in hyperlocal news sites, it is obvious that I found most of the stories were stories about the specific area the website is based in. There are also usually areas on the site where you can see news in even more specific areas, or broaden it so that it covers the entire state that the site is located in. This way, you can get both state news, news about the city you live in, and/or even sometimes news about the county you live in.

The beats in hyperlocal news sites are typically the usual news beats, so expect to find sports and politics beats on the site. However, some are actually specific to the region, as they are relevant in some regions but may not be as relevant as others. An example of this would be the climate beat in the San Fransisco Chronicle, as the beat is especially relevant in California due to the overwhelming presence of forest fires every year.

One beat that is given special attention on every site is COVID-19 news. It’s obvious why, as COVID is still something that affects our everyday lives, and getting news on it is important to see upticks and downtrends. Even though this can be seen on national news, this is info you most likely want on a local scale as well to see how it’s affecting your local neighborhood, not just how the affects are being felt worldwide. This is most likely why COVID-19 news is displayed so prominently on hyperlocal news sites.


Originally, I was going to tell the story with more modern elements of Ybor City due to it being a historical city, but then decided that that would be too broad of a subject. However, walking around the campus these past few weeks gave me another idea for my story. My photojournalism story will be on the different types of stairs that can be found on HCC’s Ybor campus.

The reason I thought of the idea for this story is because there are so many unique stairs on this campus, in the building our class is in alone. There are plenty of very standard stairs around campus, but there are also things like multicolored stairs and stairs that different clubs have endorsed themselves on and stairs with different motivational text painted on them.

Doing a photojournalism story on the different types of stairs may give a more human feel to the campus instead of it feeling like a plain building you just come to for school. It will actually feel like students play an active role on campus and can give it a human touch, even just through making the stairs less drab. It isn’t the most exciting photojournalism story, but it could still tell an interesting soft news story.

Service Journalism

For my service journalism story, I decided to write a story about how to cope with anxiety and what types of coping mechanisms are used when you have anxiety, as I wrote about last week. This week, I will be talking about the type of service journalism my story will fall under.

For the most part, my story will fall under an application story. It does have somewhat of an overlap with a case study (as one of the components in the story will be how medication can help with coping with anxiety), but it is by and large an application story.

The reason I view my story as an application story is because, while it doesn’t detail how to use a product in the traditional sense, it does detail how to alleviate anxiety and how to be successful at that alleviation, so the advice for dealing with anxiety somewhat takes the place of a product being used. I will most likely use examples of these methods being successful that can be found on medical websites such as the American Psychological Association, and I may use statistics, but the piece will largely be about how to apply the information given to you.

While a story about anxiety could technically also fall under a research study depending on who’s writing it, that is not the approach that I wish to take. Anxiety is something that affects so many of us, so just showing charts and graphs about the facts of anxiety seems too impersonal for the type of story I want to write. I want it to actually have good advice that people can take away from it, and making an informational piece that feels like a school lecture does not seem like the right approach for that.

With all that said, I hope that by making my story an application story, it will be able to convey the information i want to convey properly.

Story Focus Sheet

The topic I will be choosing to write about for my next story assignment is ways to cope with anxiety. This will generally be a story with tips about different ways you can alleviate anxiety if you suffer from it.

The reason I am writing this story now is that more and more people are struggling with anxiety, whether it is because of diagnosed mental health problems or everyday stress. Some may suffer from anxiety more than others, but most people have experienced it in some way, and current events most likely do not help with that. I want to find genuinely helpful ways to combat something so serious instead of giving the usual unhelpful “it’ll be fine, you have nothing to worry about” advice.

This story will be relevant to HCC students because most HCC students do struggle with anxiety in some way, whether they know it or not. This could be anxiety about not doing well in school, work stress, COVID fears, etc. The stress could also have caused some students to develop nervous habits or even a need to take medication if their anxiety has worsened. This piece could help those who know they are struggling find ways to help themselves, or it may even help those who don’t yet know they need help.

I won’t have any human sources for this piece, but I will do research on sites that actually focus on mental health and have credible people working on them, such as the American Psychology Association. This way, I won’t be giving readers misinformation about such an important subject.

To make this story complete, I will need to research sings of anxiety, what causes anxiety, and different verified ways that anxiety can be treated or alleviated. I will need all these components to make my story as factual as possible.

Interview Preparation

Preparing for my interview was both quite simple and quite challenging at the same time. While the actual interview went quite well and gave me all the information I needed to write my article, the process of the interview was quite a nuisance.

For the positives, Lauren Harrell (the woman I interviewed) was quite nice, and she was more than happy to use some of her free time being interviewed. I interviewed her on the weekend, which meant I didn’t have to worry about scheduling conflicts with her job, as daycare workers usually only work at the school on weekdays. She also answered all o my questions in a satisfying way, actually creating a discussion instead of feeling like a survey. This gave me ample material to work with when I constructed my interview.

However, the largest negative I ran into when interviewing Harrell was location. Harrell’s usually located in Wimauma, which is quite far from where I’m usually located, which is Tampa. She couldn’t make it out to Tampa, and I didn’t want to put her out anyway, what with high gas prices and the scheduling conflict any traffic incident can induce, and I couldn’t make it out to Wimauma because I don’t have a car (or a driver’s license), and the bus I take is local. Therefore, I had to resort to doing an email interview with Harrell. While she answered in an extremely timely manner and gave me the information I needed, it would have been nice to actually see her workplace and implement it into my story.

Overall though, I think my interview went quite well, even given the circumstances. I was able to write a well crafted story with the information given, and I was even able to relate it back to a relevant topic with COVID-19. It was overall a success to me.

Interview Thesis/Questions

Hook: Taking care of children is always hard work, whether it’s a regular Sunday afternoon or there’s a pandemic to work around.

Thesis: With COVID-19 still running rampant in the world, working at a daycare and having to take care of an entire classroom of children may seem like a monstrous task. However, Lauren Harrell, a daycare receptionist at Little Giants Learning Academy South, is able to face said task head-on.

Questions I Will Ask During the Interview:

  • What is the greatest benefit of working at Little Giants Learning Academy South?
  • What is the greatest struggle of working at Little Giants Learning Academy South?
  • How does the academy usually run when COVID-19 isn’t an issue?
  • How have the staff and students had to adapt to COVID-19 implementations?
  • What (if any) are some concerns with how the academy is currently running with COVID-19 regulations?
  • Are there any suggestions you would give to parents to prepare their children before sending them to a daycare even in regular situations?
  • How can parents avoid causing the staff any unnecessary stress?
  • Are the children able to understand and practice safe COVID-19 protocol?
  • Describe what your job at the academy entails.
  • What would you suggest as advice to anyone looking to enter the same career as you?

Interviewing Ideas

I think it’d be a very interesting and enlightening experience to interview Maddy Thorson. Thorson is a non-binary indie game developer most known for their work on Celeste, a 2D-platformer. The game involves the main character, Madeline, climbing up Celeste Mountain as an act of self validation, while tackling many relevant topics such as depression and anxiety.

The game is very important to Thorson, for a number of reasons, so I would love to ask them questions about how their personal experiences influenced the game. Celeste has such a realistic and profound approach to how anxiety can affect you, and one of the main themes is how accepting your mental health is the first step in overcoming it, so I’d love to know if any specific moments Thorson has experienced influenced these themes. With a game that approaches mental health in such a nuanced manner, it’s a very important piece, and I’d love to know why Thorson decided on making a game with mental health as the main theme.

Promotional artwork for Thorson’s game Celeste. Source:

I’d also be interested in asking them about the decisions made on the difficulty of the game. Celeste is quite well known as a difficult game, and Thorson has stated that that decision is intentional due to the tough subject matter being aided by tough difficulty, but I would want to ask what made them decide on how the level difficulty progresses throughout the game. Some areas are much tougher to beat than others, even in the exact same level, so it would be interesting to learn what creative process went into deciding difficulty progression.

However, one of the most talked about ways the game has affected Thorson is the decision to make Madeline transgender. While developing the game, Thorson realized that Madeline as a character helped them come to terms with their own gender identity. If they were comfortable enough talking about it, I think it could absolutely be beneficial to ask them about how Madeline became so helpful in helping them realize they’re non binary, and to talk about how much of an inspiration Madeline has become for trans women in particular, not only to understand Thorson’s own feelings with regards to gender, but to further normalize trans and non-binary people who are into gaming.

Maddy Thorson has made other games, but the questions I’d love to ask them are about Celeste because of how personal the game is to me, and to Thorson themself. They are a huge inspiration for me when it comes to storytelling because of this game, and I’d love to interview them because of how much I admire their work on it.

Introductory Blog

  Hi, my name is Andie Johnson. I am a 20 year old student at Hillsborough Community College with a focus on Mass Communications as my degree field. I am looking to make editing my full time career once I have the proper degree(s). I am the middle child out of three, having an older sister and a younger brother. I have an interest in writing, so I do write short stories from time to time, mostly leaning into fiction with a focus on fantasy and drama. I also have a more passive interest in gaming, but I can still enjoy talking about it. I will be talking about my own personal views on certain events and topics, as well as some of my own interests. I will most likely be heavily opinionated about some of the topics I choose to write about, but I will still try to keep an open mind about perspectives that are not my own, as long as there can be civil discussion without trying to cause harm.