I knew and the Missourian knew that there was a 4804 group covering the 23:59 24-hour play festival, but they sent me there anyways. I chose a video as my best option and I showed up at 6 p.m. with all my equipment. When I walked into the auditorium I saw the 4804 group, they were quite concerned that I was sent even though they were doing the blog on the Missourian Web page. I explained to them that this was on purpose, but had to agree that it was redundant.
The teams had just left for a dinner break when I got there so I had plenty of time to set up. Then the writers, directors, and actors slowly trickled back in and I grabbed interviews with a few before things got hectic with setting down the details of their performance. As I finished up my interviews two more reporters showed up from the Maneater with a camera and camcorder and they decided to do some interviews as well.
In total there ended up being six reporters at one small theatre event from two publications. This isn’t the first instance of over-reporting I’ve seen in Columbia, just my most recent encounter. Everything has been covered, is being covered, and is tired of being covered. It is by far the biggest challenge in this city. On the bright side it forces you to be creative and try to find new ways to tell every story. On the not-so-bright side, there ends up being a lot of insignificant or inconsequential stories.
Journalists in Columbia almost need to create problems so we have something to do. Like an evil super hero that creates catastrophes just to be the hero. Of course I’m not saying that we do that nor that we should. I’m just saying it is tough and you really have to want to be in this business in Columbia.