Thursday, April 8, 2010

I'm just a bill ...

The Missouri House passed an abortion bill that would make changes to current law including requiring doctors to report girls under the age of 18 who not only go through with a procedure but who also inquire about one.

The bill passed with an overwhelming majority and moved to the Senate. If you want to read about the bill you can read it here.

One of the reporters at KOMU had already interviewed the bill sponsor Rep. Cynthia Davis and I was assigned to get someone who voted against the bill.

I started calling those who voted against the bill. The House was in session at the time so it made it difficult to nail down someone who only wanted to talk but could also make the time. Rep. Hope Whitehead answered her phone when I called her office and she was gracious to give me a few moments. But as I got the Jefferson City, a resolution affecting her district was on the floor. So this gave me a chance to sit in the gallery and not only watch the proceedings but also the extra-curricular activities on the floor. I got to see and over hear a few representatives discuss why they should vote on a particular issue. One even got up from the back and almost ran to the front of the floor to stop another representative from speaking on an issue because "we aren't going that way."

I got an up-close look at how things happen on the floor of the house. It was an extremely interesting experience.

From a journalistic perspective, I learned that patience pays off. Rep. Whitehead gave me some great sound for the VOSOT and she was a gracious individual. She couldn't stop apologizing for making me wait.

I also got to see the lure of covering something that I thought was so boring. I watched as other reporters talked to state leaders and how they can craft all kinds of interesting stories. I almost wanted to beg to be put on the capital beat. Almost.


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