Every week in the climate, science, social justice, and environmental spaces is as diverse as Uproot’s membership. Field Notes are snapshots of the varied experiences that make our community so vibrant.
Name: Jamie Jiang
Location: Chico, CA
Job description: I am the wildfire reporter for North State Public Radio, focusing on wildfire recovery and resilience in rural Northern California.
Years of experience in your job: 1
Social media handles: @jambojiang on Twitter
One word to describe your week: Local
A Week in the Life
I spend today working with some tape I gathered last Friday and polishing a radio spot with my new editor. Last month, I was selected to work one-on-one with an editor through NPR’s California Newsroom. This is my second week with her. As a result, my work is getting more suitable for state and national audiences! I’m told one of our stories will air statewide on KQED’s The California Report. Every time that happens, I order hashbrowns at my local Chico/Paradise diner chain, the Cozy Diner, to celebrate.
Today, I’ve got an interview with the California Department of Insurance about… and I’m afraid this will shock you…insurance. We’ve prepared for this interview by going on the radio or local Facebook groups and asking listeners to call with questions about insurance. Community engagement works wonders when you cover so many people.
At night, I attend a local Town Council (local journalism things) until around 9pm. It’s a lovely night – the president of a local pioneer and gold rush museum recognizes me and gives me a friendly wink after he presents public comment.
The newsroom staff (the All Things Considered Anchor, the Morning Edition Anchor, and me) are having our weekly lunch together at 12 PM. I’m pretty excited–we’re getting ready for a big reporting day tomorrow. I attend a webinar from Oregon State University on wildfires and livestock. You can imagine how the subject might appeal to the vast majority of our coverage area, which is rural and prone to wildfires.
DAY OUT!!! Everyone is out in the field today to cover the first-ever test of early warning wildfire evacuation sirens in Paradise. That’s the town destroyed by the deadliest wildfire in California history in 2018. I start the day at a local diner in Magalia (was also burned over by the Camp Fire) waiting to hear the sirens. I don’t, which is worrying! Then, I visit a support group for fire survivors who could be triggered by the sirens. I visit a fire survivor. She talks about how unincorporated communities are overlooked during disaster recovery. Working on these stories takes up the rest of the day.
What a huge week! I’m taking it easy today. A friend of mine is shadowing me at work today while I go through news meetings. Tonight, I take off early and drive to the CapRadio office in Sacramento. CapRadio owns our stations and I’m close with a couple of reporters there. Some of us made a newsroom-collab group order of NPR-branded hair clips. I’m excited to get mine today.
Saturday and Sunday:
I’m going birdwatching and hiking with some family this week! It’s been a long time since I actively carved out time to just enjoy birdwatching. I read, write postcards, and pay a speeding ticket I got last month. My first speeding ticket, which I got on a field reporting trip, too!
From the Wild:
What is one thing you always do when visiting somewhere new?
Visit the grocery store.
What’s your current beverage of choice?
Ito-en jasmine green tea
What do you never leave home without?
A tape measure. You never know!
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