20 March 2014

never say never

Never in my life did I expect to say the following statement:

I love working at the paper!

My fearless editor-in-chief and student publications director push the team to consider different ways to tell stories. In addition to writing the group is fortunate enough to learn to be creative through multimedia and digital storytelling. But selfishly I just want to focus on the writing part so I can become a better reporter.

I had an "aha" moment yesterday when I figured out it's thinking about those other things that will make me a better reporter. I took 10 minutes to walk outside the newsroom. I traded the walls and fluorescence for greenery and fresh air. I was able to clear my mind before I asked myself the question I hope I've learned to love:

"What's another, more interesting way I can tell this story?"

Within a few minutes I had an answer. I fought the urge to run back to the newsroom and really let the idea sink in. By the time I was back at the desk I was bursting with excitement to discuss the idea with my news editor. He liked it and helped streamline it for the best presentation.

The story is scheduled to publish tomorrow and I'm already thinking of creative supplementation for my other stories. And I'm excited about.

I never thought, imagined or dreamed that being a reporter would interest me. I've avoided it. I disliked the idea before I gave myself a chance to explore and see if reporting was for me.

I'm not telling you that I plan to do this for the rest of my life but I'm starting to see how so many are bewitched by journalism's charms. During spring break I read up on the current state of journalism, women in media and what's happening in the digital age. Seriously.

Even though I'm new at this I decided to change the way I view the newsroom. Yes it's a student publication and it's understood that it is a training ground, a place to learn. But I want to be sure I'm giving back. I'm challenging myself to go beyond.

I'm sure I said, "I'll never be a reporter," because I was afraid to try. I thought I would be bad at it, or say or do the wrong thing, and I dread deadlines. I allowed fear to become a limitation. I never gave myself a chance to do something I currently enjoy. How silly.

I'm grateful for this opportunity to learn. I'm changed by what I've seen and who I've been around. I'm going to give it my all.

Goodbye never.
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