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How I Reported Live While Trapped On A Train

How I Reported Live While Trapped On A Train

On Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, I was headed home to Connecticut from New York City on Metro North, when the train suddenly ran into some trouble. The conductor announced there would be a short delay, but that turned into a two-hour, multi-state railroad failure– and I was right in the middle of it.

Many people were groaning and frustrated?but I turned that inconvenient delay into an amazing opportunity.

As soon as I realized this issue was affecting more than just my train, I went into reporter mode. Since I am going to graduating in May from journalism school, I know how to report in any kind of situation?and I?ve been doing it over the past eight years. My work has appeared on CNN and NBC News, but this was one of the first times I would be a part of the breaking news event.

?I took out my phone and began taking notes, tweeting out information, taking pictures and taking videos. I posted all the information that I heard on the loud speaker to twitter because I knew news organizations would be looking for exactly what was going on, from inside the stalled trains.

I also created a hashtag (MHtrainFail), so reporters and readers could easily group all my tweets together. I decided to include my initials, MH, to ensure it was a unique hashtag. Suddenly I was being contacted by news organizations and journalists from across the tri-state area.

I began taking some photos inside my train of the trapped passengers.

2014-01-23_21-15-12_HDR Then reporters started asking for them.

Then I got a few calls from news stations. Some reporters briefly interviewed me. Others messaged me questions.

Two networks asked if I could call in and give live interviews on the news.

I was scheduled to essentially report live from the scene of this breaking news story for two news stations– this is a journalists’ dream! (Also, note: I don’t have a reporting job yet, but I will be looking soon!)

News 8/ WTNH-TV and FOX Connecticut/ WTIC-TV gave me the information to to call in during the live newscasts.

In the mean time, I took some videos too. I know television stations appreciate photos from viewers of breaking news, but above all, tv stations love video.

Instagram Video and Youtube failed on my phone for some reason, unfortunately. But I got video up on Facebook (Keep in mind, I am trapped inside the train– no wifi).

Luckily I was not trapped on the train for ever. Shortly before the 10 p.m. newscasts, the trains started rolling again.

(I got to my destination.) In addition to that great news, the rest of the night was amazing.

Two Live Interviews:

And

Notice News 8 used my video and FOX-CT used my photo on screen?

Then News 8 used a clip of my interview on the 11 p.m. News.

NBC Connecticut led its website homepage with my photo for the next several hours as well:

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 12.18.13 AM

Then in the morning, News 8 replayed clips of my interview on Good Morning Connecticut:

And FOX-CT used my video on the morning show:

Wow! I still find it amazing that while I was stuck onboard a train, I was able to report in real time, for multiple news organizations and I don’t even have a job yet!

The power of social media is magnificent for reporting and I and very thankful that my professors, like Brett Orzechowski, have taught me the right way to make best use of these tools in journalism.

I know many pervious Metro North Issues have included injuries and deaths. Luckily this time, it was only a computer glitch and some annoyed passengers. But I am grateful to all the news organizations who decided to make me a part of their news coverage.

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