About Me

summer_2018_intern_dinorah_m

  • San Francisco Bay Area native (Shout out to the East Bay!)
  • USF St. Petersburg senior
  • Majoring in Mass Communications with a concentration in Journalism and Media Studies
  • Minoring in Spanish and Latino Studies
  • Former news intern at WUSF Public Media (Tampa NPR affiliate)
  • Former freelance reporter at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
  • Former news editor of the Crow’s Nest (USF St. Pete)
  • Blogger at Homebody Notes (medium.com/@homebodynotes)
  • To be continued…

 

I never thought I would put my hobby to work during a summer internship at WUSF 89.7. As I finished my first feature story about an Arthur Ashe biography, my editor told me to find background music for my promotional spot.

One song that fits the story theme, instrumental, 30 seconds. I knew then my years plunging into music nerdom would pay off. Within 10 minutes, I chose the opening 30 seconds of “Search for the Land” by Lee Morgan.

My obsession with music stems from two summers in isolation and an ethernet connection. As an only child who grew up miles from the nearest neighbor, YouTube provided hours of music videos for company. Spurred by the pop-punk bands I found, my first teenage endeavor was becoming a guitarist. But I eventually grew frustrated with not turning out creativity on six strings.

I knew that music was for me but I only needed to find a niche. That, I eventually learned, was writing about music.

This time with a Wifi connection, I started blogging about discovering new music. This summer, I returned to the platform after three years with Homebody Notes. I now interview musicians, DJs and podcasters based as far away as London.

Despite the on-and-off momentum in my early blogging, I had the conviction to make writing my career. Writing later turned to journalism when I took a newspaper class my senior year. I chose journalism as my major on my college application and I haven’t changed it in three years.

At first thought, my introverted nature doesn’t seem to match the outgoing, audacious image of a journalist. But as I started reporting, the ability to observe and engage deeply with sources became my greatest tool. Understanding why people do what they do is at the core of why I’ve dedicated my college years to journalism.

I started at USF St. Petersburg’s campus newspaper, The Crow’s Nest, where I wrote a range of campus and community stories. I became its news editor two semesters later.

I have also freelanced for a local alternative weekly, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. I mainly covered political protests over the Trump administration’s first year. In addition, I profiled a St. Petersburg church which housed the increasing number of local progressive activist groups.

This past summer, I interned at WUSF 89.7, National Public Radio’s Tampa affiliate. I learned to write 45-second stories, capture attention-grabbing sound and seamlessly blend written word with sound. I learned to tell a better, tighter story.

In July, I conducted the first public radio interview with the author of the first comprehensive biography of Arthur Ashe, USFSP professor Ray Arsenault. Then I profiled USFSP’s Brewing Arts program, Florida’s only craft beer brewing course.

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