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Story 1: Teen fights depression through plants.

By Jodealyn Cadacio

Many teens face depression and often seek medical treatment, but for Andie Callejo, one way of dealing with such mood disorder is through planting.

Andie Callejo, 19, shows off her home-grown eath friends.

Andie Callejo, 19, shows off her home-grown eath friends.

“Planting stimulates me and makes believe that there is still hope,” said the 18- year old Filipino, who spends most of her time nurturing her plants.

“Every time I have a problem, I buy one plant and hang it on the ceiling in my room,” the Auckland resident added.

When the plants begin to sprout, she cuts off the bud and plants it elsewhere.

“I find happiness in growing plants because I see myself in them, growing and blooming into beautiful things,” Callejo said.

She also said that her love for plants was inspired by a Tumblr artist who has a great fondness for plants and flowers.

Callejo was diagnosed with depression when she moved to New Zealand two years ago to live with her father.

“Everything was so new and different then. Starting over in a foreign country wasn’t as simple as it seemed,” said Callejo, who completed her secondary studies at Long Bay College in the North Shore.

“I feel that planting helps me to adjust to my new environment and make friends at work. It makes me feel better,” she said.

Although planting helped her depression to disappear, she said that she is “still hanging and that depression could trigger at any time.”

She also added that if depression ever finds her again, she will be able to “cope with it more effectively.”

Reflection 1: Interview

After this week’s News Reporting lecture about interviewing, I summarized the principles I have learned during my last two years of journalism. Basically, I shortened them into four principles:

1. Prepare and research as much as you can about the topic/issue

2. Establish a relationship with your interviewee(s). This is always a good idea as it helps you to obtain the most important information.

3. Ask questions, preferably open-ended ones, that will make the source/interviewee to talk freely. Though, sometimes close-ended questions work too!

4. Listen to their answers attentively. Watch their body language- this could add an extra edge to what they are saying and thus, help you in terms of writing the whole story out.

Therefore, when I met with Andie for an interview, I used my so-called principles. As a result, I was able to obtain some of the most important details. The interview lasted for at least thirty minutes and I thought she was very open with the way she disclosed her personal stories and experiences.

Though, there were two particular questions that I had forgotten to ask her. However, it wasn’t a huge problem because I added her on Facebook the day before. I messaged her and got the answers I needed.

Overall, I thought it was a great interview. Though, there were some occasions during the interview which I could have done better. Thus, this is something I will try to improve in my next assignment. I just have to keep practicing. After all, practice is what makes you an expert.

A change in the story.

After waiting for three days for Vector Arena to email me their response to our meeting arrangement, they still have not sent me a single answer.

I thought, no worries.

Thus, I decided to take a surf on Instagram in hopes of finding another interesting story to write about. I stumbled upon this picture, posted by Andie, a teenage girl who lives in North Shore, Auckland. What really attracted me to her post was just three words: “Home-grown earth friends.” To explain further, take a look at her Instagram post:


In summary, her story is about her depression and how she was able to fight against it through planting. I thought this would be an interesting story to write about as it fits within the news values.

I immediately followed her on Instagram and was able to get a hold of her details. I emailed her and arranged for a meeting tomorrow.


Watch out for my next post as I will be detailing out my interview with Andie.

A nice introduction.

After being away on a bereavement leave, I traveled back to the City of Sails to start yet another year of journalism. To kick off this year’s journalism, one has to start with an assignment, or should I say, a news story – how ironic.

I missed the first lecture of News Reporting. Thus, when I came to the second lecture, I was immediately greeted with a heap of helpful assignments. Why helpful? Helpful because I know these assignments will help me build confidence both in writing news stories and interviewing people.

I’ll cut to the chase and write about our first assignment.

My idea for our first assignment is to write a story about Vector Arena’s role in the upcoming Fifa U-20. Their role will be to cater for the people, including visitors and players participating in this international event. I have researched a little bit about this big event in New Zealand. Though, as of now, I am not quite sure whether Vector Arena will provide service throughout NZ or just Auckland. That is something I need to find out. In addition, I found out that they’ve written up their first draft of preparations for the Fifa U-20.

I thought this would be an interesting topic to write about as this is a one-time big event in New Zealand.


Stay tuned for my next post, which will be the first post for my reflective essay. It talks about news from an academic perspective.