Despite being sick most of my second week, and having had to go home (or be sent home) early most days, I’ve had an amazing time at ABC. I’ve loved researching science stories, and was able to pull two stories together into research briefs.
The firs story I worked on was indoor air quality, which everyone here loved. They are hoping to use the ABC building as a guinea pig to test IAQ here and see if it really is a sick building. It would have been great to be here longer to see the story come together but they have promised me a copy of the final story, so that will have to do.
The second story is on retirement homes using virtual games. Elderly residents are using the Nintendo Wii virtual gaming consols, which simulate bowling, golf, and tennis and loving it. Aside from the fun aspect, it has improved motor skills, and coordination. That story was all my idea J.
I’ve also been able to leave them with about four pages of story ideas and possible sources based on Robyn’s stash of random scientific facts, which hopefully will give them ideas to explore over the course of next year. The one they seem most interested in at the moment is methane emissions from dams, which according to the latest research findings, can be up to four times higher than an equivalent megawatt coal plant.
For me though, the best part is that despite being sick, I’ve been able to deliver two well-researched stories. They have invited me to extend my internship by a week so that I can attend a shoot in Brisbane at the end of next week.
John, when I was applying to Jschool, you asked me if I was too passionate about environmental issues to do a good job reporting. I can’t remember what I told you at the time, but I have to say now that passion is a good thing. Being familiar enough with materials to know what information is available, where to get the information you need, and what questions to ask, is a tremendous asset to research. Being able to have a repository of random facts can provide great and potentially unusual story ideas. Besides that, the most interesting people to talk to are the people who are passionate about what they are doing. If you have to work, you might as well have a passion for it!