The Daily Universe
I published 27 articles – five front-page – for the campus and metro news desks. Each article, written in AP style, was held to a tight deadline (some within minutes after an event finished). This was a very different experience from my KSL.com reporting. This time every article was about a new topic.
Here’s some of the fun background stories and quick recaps to a few of the articles I wrote:
It happened in a matter of minutes. I was studying at a campus library, with a strict no-food policy, when my friends and I suddenly smelled something cooking. Soon a loud hum built as the 100-plus students in the area began whispering about the smell.
When I finally located the chef, sitting alone with a textbook and nonchalantly cooking on a George Foreman grill, I grabbed the empty chair next to her and started talking with the stranger. Her story was an article waiting to happen, and she agreed to an interview.
As I walked back to get my recorder, questions were shot at me. “What’d she say; do you know her; did you eat some of…whatever she’s cooking?” After my icebreaker conversation, several students made their way over to the library chef. Some brave souls even ate her grilled chicken.
This was the kind of thing that students go home and laugh about with their roommates (the chef was escorted from the library by security). It was a great story that I was able to share with the entire campus simply by writing a spur-of-the-moment article.
Within a day of publication, I received an email from the head of the paper notifying me of the article’s above-average success. At the time, 60 shares were considered substantial for a post. In less than 24-hours, this front-page story received more than 150 Facebook shares. Before the first week was over, it had 900-plus shares.
No TV character in my adolescence made male pattern baldness as cool as George Costanza. I had the chance to meet Jason Alexander, the actor who played Costanza, while writing for The Daily Universe. I loved hearing his stories about becoming an actor, auditioning for Seinfeld, and approaching acting as a technical art.
Just like the show, Alexander’s audition for the role of George Costanza is comical.
Sam Nelson has a good portion of his life recorded on film. He was one of over 100 children to participate in “The 5,000 Days Project,” a documentary committed to embracing the common joys and struggles in the pre- to late-adolescence years. I loved learning about this project and interviewing some of the participants, as well as the producer.
"I want to encourage people to share who they are, weaknesses and all. When we expose those things to air, they lose their power over us and they create empathy in others."
- Rick Stevenson, Director of "The 5,000 Days Project"
Here's the majority of the articles I wrote for The Daily Universe:
The Daily Universe's website has been remodeled and unfortunately some pieces were lost.
It Matters. The choices were simple – orange juice and sprite mixed together, peanuts not pretzels and the middle seat. Growing up flying standby, I developed a science for the airline world. Sitting apart from my parents at five-years old helped me learn the ropes quickly. I had a sixth sense for the arrival time of the food cart. I probably could’ve set a Guinness World Record for popping my ears. And most importantly, I found the loophole to my parent’s rule. The rule: only chatting for 5-10 minutes with the stranger sitting next to me before recoiling to my book for the remainder of the flight. The loophole: any middle seat on the plane, as long as both sides provided a stranger to talk to. Double the neighbors meant double the time to chat. I inherently love meeting and talking to people, so much so that a stopwatch had to be used in the earlier stages of my extroverted development. So, naturally I loved the opportunity to be continually interviewing new people with unique stories as a campus and metro news reporter for BYU’s newspaper, The Daily Universe. And with tight deadlines to meet and busy schedules to respect, I even took a page out of my childhood and used the stopwatch rule.