Journalism: working with people and stories

People often ask me why I work so much right now in journalism related stuff. Is it because I am obsessed, or that I’m trying to catch up, or that I think it gives me a purpose or identity or because I just have to do it because I chose journalism as my major?

While it could be a little of some of those, I think my love for journalism has come from the fact that I get to work with people. I get to interview human beings, each with a different story, write it into something (hopefully) smooth, clear and concise and then, along with other journalists all in different roles and positions, create some type of publication that shares multiple stories. So maybe I am “obsessed” with journalism because I have a passion for people.

I tell my roommates and friends on a regular basis that working at The Appalachian as the managing editor is definitely work, and sometimes very frustrating, but I keep coming into the newsroom even on non-production days because sub-consciously, and if were honest, very obviously at times, love what I do.

I like organizing a newspaper with journalists my age, figuring this out together, but all bringing something interesting and different to the table.

Production days in the newsroom are chaotic at times. Sometimes I have to close the door just to hear myself think and be able to edit in silence. But the people and editors I work with are hilarious, fun to be around, and when it comes down to it, after lots of goofing off and just talking, are good at their job and know what they want to do and strive to do it.

I like working with these people, especially on breaking news stories with the scramble to get the scoop, get the picture and to be the first to publish.

I like working on a deadline and seeing a months worth of work come together in The Appalachian Voice, or seeing the hard work of student journalists go into two publications a week at The Appalachian.

I like interviewing people: tasting new  and colorful food, touching different plant textures and seeing carnivorous plants from across the world, seeing the sketch of a discovery of the first ring around an asteroid, seeing a faculty’s eyes tear up for love for the students, sitting in the smoking pit at Hospitality House, hearing the hard stories that need to be told, learning about different cultures and traditions, and just listening to people tell me a story.

I learn about people in these moments and I learn a lot about myself and the world as well.

Journalism isn’t as pretty as I thought it would be and it is much more than a pencil behind the ear and a small reporter’s notepad. It is asking for access and getting denied, taking pictures on a smart phone to make sure you have a well-rounded story, asking the questions others forgot to ask, sticking a recorder in what seems too close to a persons face because audio is a pain, being part of the problem with the media at times because we are humans too, covering the heartbreaking stories and even sometimes putting our lives in danger.

But I absolutely love it. I learn something new literally every day and I get to work with people, individual people, who make up a team.