TUESDAY: Feb 16th, 2016
After finding out I had to write a story on the Pope’s visit affecting El Paso streets and businesses for my Writing for Mass Media class, I decided to write a blog on what I did to get my story written; I was pretty excited to get this project going. As I was driving on Tuesday, I ran into a road closure off of the 7300 block of Alameda. The adrenaline from my new blog and the detour I was about take got me pumped. My first thought was that I was experiencing my first road closure for the Pope’s visit, turns out I wasn’t. The police blocked the road off because of an accident, oh well I’ll wait to see real road interferences on Wednesday. I have to take Gateway East, but I am unsure of the best route. I need to have a better sense of direction if I really want to be involved in the distribution of media.
I knew that one of my classmates Carolina Valdez, a Media Advertising major, lives in Juarez, so I wanted to ask her a few questions about Pope Francis’ visit:
WEDNESDAY: Feb 17th, 2016
The Pope’s visit is today in Juarez and I don’t know what I am going to cover. I haven’t experienced any road closures but I have seen some closed business. I really wanted to get a business interview, so I went to Café East off of Rojas to brainstorm out my ideas. I wanted to interview my waitress but I got too involved into my breakfast. At the restaurant, I did see television footage of the Pope’s flight landing in Juarez. I’m going to be honest, it made me really emotional.
When I was done with my breakfast, I chose not to interview my waitress and decided to check out the call center, GC Services, across the street for some interviews. Luckily, I was able to get in contact with Aaron Sherman a unit manager. I asked Sherman how he felt about Pope Francis’ visit and he stated he is very “neutral” about it being that he isn’t religious, so the visit isn’t anything special. The next question I had for Sherman was if he had preferred the Pope’s closure be in El Paso. He said no because he didn’t want to deal with any road closures. Sherman says that not everyone is religious so he agrees with his business remaining open. I wanted to know how this historical event has affected the business and Sherman was able to show me statistics; Out of the 341 currently scheduled to work, 19 of them called in due to the visit. Sherman indicated that several of those employees live in Juarez and couldn’t cross the bridge to get into El Paso.
Overall I was satisfied with the information provided to me by Sherman. I wasn’t expecting to get actual numbers for my assignment. I wanted to dig deeper, so I found the employee responsible for making schedules and handling attendance. Jamie Taylor of GC Services was more than willing to answer some of my questions. My first question for Taylor was how she felt about the Pope’s visit; she explained how she is “indifferent” but really likes the publicity that El Paso has been getting. She would also have preferred that the Pope came to El Paso for the safety of the Pope based on the violent history Juarez has and to bring in money to the city. It was really cool interviewing someone with firsthand experience on the visit affecting their business; Taylor advised me that because attendance being so low, support staff had to take phone calls to keep the business line going.
My next interview was for the Department of Public Safety, but management rejected the interview. That’s okay with my though because I had someone on the inside that could answer some questions for me. My friend Jessica Munoz works at the DPS on Gateway and took my interview via text while I watched Pope updates on Channel 9:
Of course this whole blog is about my creative process on gathering information for my report. I wanted to make sure that I got awesome pictures for my blog post, so on Wednesday I went to Chamizal National park to see the road closures for myself. I had to park across the street of the park because the roads were closed. When I got to the park, Border Patrol, Police and Sheriffs were blocking off Paisano. I asked if I could get an interview but they told me no. That’s okay I was really just there to see the streets anyways. I didn’t get what I expected, besides a few cop cars I didn’t see much. I was expecting to see a lot of people, but only saw a few praying on park benches.
As far as what El Paso looks like, it’s been a pretty boring update. What I am really excited for is to interview my friends about their visit to see the Pope. I am thinking about making that into a separate blog post. For now I am going to type up my report on the Pope’s visit affecting El Paso roads and businesses.