Haiti humanitarian mission draws our new multimedia journalist

Friday , March 28, 2014 - 12:35 PM

Andy Howell, Standard-Examiner Staff

This week Morgan Briesmaster started her new job as a multimedia reporter at the Standard-Examiner

Next week she heads off to Haiti as part of a local church-sponsored humanitarian mission.

A lot is happening for the recent journalism graduate from Weber State University, who has a passion for journalism and helping people.

She will be joining 23 other Americans and Italians traveling to the island nation that was ravaged by an earthquake more than two years ago. The 7.0 quake killed an estimated 250,000 and displaced 1 million more. There is still a lot of rebuilding to do. The humanitarian mission is sponsored by the Washington Heights Church in South Ogden, but participants like Morgan raised their own funds to pay for the trip.

“Much of the work we will be doing will be in construction and Vacation Bible School for local children,” she said. “Our team will be traveling by bus to Port-au-Prince and Cabaret. There we will be working under the leadership of the local church supporting their dreams by providing resources and labor.”

While the trip was scheduled before we hired her, we hope to have her do some reporting for Standard-Examiner readers from the scene.

Morgan grew up in Layton and graduated from Northridge High School. Her roots at the Standard-Examiner go back far. She was one of our TXers working to put out our long-running Monday section written by, and for, teens.

After her graduation last year, she spent time working as a sales associate in Juneau, Alaska and for the Chamber of Commerce in Green River, Utah. At Weber State, she worked for The Signpost, the school newspaper, and was news director for Studio 76, the school’s broadcast media department. She will have both video broadcasting and print responsibilities at the Standard-Examiner. So expect to see her online, and see her byline in print.

When she gets back from Haiti, Morgan will jump into helping cover the Ogden area’s burgeoning entertainment scene. This will include more coverage of local musicians, theater and visual arts, not just for our popular GO! weekly print section, but on our digital platforms. We plan to do more entertainment spot coverage of events and people online and through social media.

To help facilitate this new emphasis, we have formed a new Entertainment Division at the newspaper. This team of four fulltime staffers and various freelancers will be visible throughout the community covering the performers, and those attending the diversified art and cultural events in the community.

I will tell you more about this team after we launch our new website and redesigned paper in April.

In the meantime, look for the increase in entertainment coverage across all our platforms.

TOP STORIES: For January, the most read story and watched video online was the one about Clearfield setting up a neighborhood watch truck. Headlined “Clearfield police acquire ‘obnoxious’ truck to park outside nuisance homes,” the story generated interest because it was intended as a way of intimidating troublemakers to behave, rather than survelliance. Called “The Armadillo,” the vehicle is an old armored truck repainted and equipped through donated labor and materials. The story was written by Loretta Park and the video was done by visual journalist Briana Scroggins.

The story and video were the most shared through social media and bookmarked on various sites of the content for the month.

Other stories that generated a lot of traffic involved a murder-suicide in Syracuse and two trains collinding in Weber Canyon. They too had companion videos.

Andy Howell is executive editor. He can be reached at 801-625-4210 or ahowell@standard.net.

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