Challenges and how I beat them

In the past two weeks, I was focusing on doing a project about vaccine hesitancy. This is a fascinating topic and I really want to do an excellent job on it. Therefore, I spent lots of time searching for materials in the archives of different news outlets, such as The New York Times, and reading some papers written by the professionals. However, though few efforts have been spared, I still found I am a little hard at it.

The most challenging thing when doing this project is finding sources. There are so many stories about vaccines, which just made me kind of confused about whom I should talk to. At the same time, sources I tried to reach out are researchers and physicians. Although they are very nice and friendly, they are too busy to give me responses on time. Therefore, I had to wait patiently. The process of waiting really took me lots of time.

Additionally, research papers are tough to understand because I am not professional at vaccines and vaccine hesitancy. Also, the sentences in those materials are complicated and professional terms are throughout the text. What I can do is try my best to understand the words and complicated sentences. Finally, this reading experience really helps me enhance my reading ability.

For others, who also need to interview some scholars and read professional papers, I would suggest you read the news stories at first because the news writers always explained the newest trend in this field to readers. And we can just make good use of it (but don’t forget to attribute). And for other things, like contacting sources and reading papers, I don’t have good suggestions. I think what we need to do and what we can do is be patient: being patient to wait for responses, learning new terms, and reading news stories.

In the following several weeks, I hope I could get more chances of working more stories, especially one life story! Wish me good luck!

Published by larissagao

Senior student majoring in Convergence journalism-multimedia producing at University of Missouri-Columbia; Former General Assignment reporter at Columbia Missourian

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