The joys and challenges of being a kid reporter

 Hi, I’m Cassandra Hsiao, and I’m a kid reporter from Walnut.Over the years, I have dabbled in many of my passions, exploring different areas of my life and wondering what I want to be when I grow up. I have entertained thoughts of becoming an author, illustrator, or even an actress, until I found a link on the Scholastic website that renewed my visions and set me on a new path.Last August, Scholastic Kids Press Corps: News For Kids, By Kids was accepting applications for kid reporters from 10 – 14 years old across the nation. I decided to give it a try.

I wrote a biography, an article about my community, set up an interview with a council member of my city and sent my applications to New York.

In mid-November, I was thrilled to receive an email to inform that I was chosen as one of the kid reporters for Scholastic Kid Press Corp 2010 – 2011.

I believe what got me a step towards my dream is my voracious passion for writing and journalism. I love to be around people, and I believe in myself. I followed my passion, and when I found this great opportunity on the Scholastic’s website, I grabbed it at first chance.

Being a reporter not only comes with pleasure, but pressure. Talking with the stars and simply being at premieres is glamorous, but behind-the-scenes there is work to be done.

Before the events, I always research all that I can about the interviewee and the event.  That way, I can have thorough knowledge and an interesting conversation with the stars.

I practiced how I would phrase the question, how to listen tentatively to the interviewees, create my own genuine reporting style instead of the rigid and taut question-and-answer interview, and simply be myself.

It also takes sacrifice, not only on my own part but on my parents’ part as well. Without my parents, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Driving me long distances to events, rescheduling my school and extracurricular work, and sometimes being a camera or video man requires hard work and flexibility on their part.

Attending premieres at red carpets or press conference can be very time consuming, and many events fall on school days.

Once I get to the event, the hard work pays off. At the Born to Be Wild press conference, I was honored to have the chance to speak with knowledgeable scientists about orangutans and elephants, and acquired professional tips from Director David Lickley, a biologist turned filmmaker. I also had the opportunity to speak with an FBI Agent and write a news report about the earthquake in Japan.

The most memorable event was the Justin Bieber Never Say Never Movie Premiere. It was astonishing that I got to meet the young international phenomenon on the red carpet, or in that case, the purple carpet! (Purple is Justin’s favorite color.)

To actually see Justin in person was a privilege and a moment I will never forget. It was also my first dose of Bieber Fever as the tumultuous crowd of teenage girls swooned, screamed, cried, and laughed at the premiere. Although I was nervous at the time, when I think back on the experience, I realize it improved my self-esteem and confidence.

My latest coverage was one of the biggest world premieres and the longest red carpet ever – Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Being at Disneyland on the longest (black) carpet in the world was mind-blowing.

I still couldn’t believe that the characters who sailed to the Fountain of Youth in the movie were standing on the black carpet right in front of me.

For me, the best part about journalism is that I get a priceless education that can only be learned by “on-the-job” experience. With every assignment, I diversify my listening and speaking skills and learn to identify more about my personal strengths as a kid reporter.

These experiences fired my determination to continue my certain trajectory to my goal, just like a comet in the sky, shooting unimpeded towards its destination. I followed my passion and fulfilled my first dream as a Scholastic Kid Reporter.

First Published at San Gabriel Valley – Highlander


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on August 5, 2011, in Star Rapture Blog and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Stay awesome, Cassie… stay awesome ;)

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