Abby O’Ferrall is not a fan of seafood and admits that finding out her assignment as part of a summer fellowship was The Wharf, a fish market in Washington, D.C., was not welcome information.
O’Ferrall, a rising freshman at Dalton High School who attended Dalton Middle School, was one of 20 students from middle and high schools from across the country selected for “PBS NewsHour’s” third annual Student Reporting Labs Academy recently. She was one of two middle school students chosen and the only student from Georgia.
O’Ferrall’s group was required to produce a video about the fish market.
“The story was difficult for me to feel passionate about,” she said. “But I quickly learned every story won’t be given to you on a silver platter, you have to work with what you can.”
The Wharf opened in 1805 and is “the oldest continuously operating open-air fish market in the United States,” its website states.
“It’s really historic, that’s what makes it so special,” O’Ferrall said. “The experience was really cool, the people are nice and right before you leave there is a cooking station.”
O’Ferrall and group members Brooke Kanna, Mary Oliver and Ray Sipple, from Hawaii, Utah and New Jersey respectively, began exchanging ideas through emails before they got to D.C. on how to approach the story.
“Putting the story together was hard, we had a bunch of facts, but didn’t have a message,” O’Ferrall said. “We finally decided on a new versus old angle.”
The group focused on new construction coming into the area and the impact it may have on the fish market. O’Ferrall explained that there are two longtime families at the market.
“One family thinks that the fish market should remain the only business in the area,” she said. “That was probably the most challenging part to our video but it ended up working out.”
Group members had two…