There are only nine days left in the semester, which means only nine more opportunities to be in the newsroom. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.
My first day at the Missourian, I was scared. I wasn’t used to the hustle and bustle and quick deadlines of the newsroom, and I was overwhelmed. I got sent out on an assignment right away, which didn’t result in a story, but I did get sweaty from trekking across campus and a foot cramp from walking fast. These things only happen to me.
After two of my stories had corrections run on them, I was in the swing of things. I learned to double-check EVERYTHING for fear of the words “did you see the correction run on your story?” coming out of Liz’s mouth. Since those corrections from my first two GA shifts, I haven’t had any. And I’m proud of that.
Blog posts and stories from GA had me busy, but I still had time to work on my prized masterpiece about independent bookstores. Not only was it a story I really enjoyed reporting on and writing, but it was the first one to illicit a conversation among readers. I’ve been waiting for that all semester; and it’s taken me a long time to realize that not every story that gets put on the homepage gets comments. All semester, I’ve thought that only my family has been reading my stories, but I know that even though people read the stories, they might not have anything to say or add to what you wrote.
My beat is one of the neighborhoods in Columbia that doesn’t get much attention because it’s on the far north side of town. The schools I covered, Derby Ridge and Two Mile Prairie, were excited to get attention from the press; and they didn’t think the Neighborhood Blog was a waste of time. The principals both signed up for the newsletter and corresponded with me throughout the semester, something I really enjoyed. They took the time to let me know what was going on at the schools, and I made sure to show up for those events.
All in all, I would say my experience at the Missourian has been a success. It didn’t chase me away from journalism, which is what it’s been known to do. However, it did cement my belief that I don’t want to work at a newspaper, but at a magazine. One of the factors that contributed to my experience was my editor, Liz. She never gave up on us, and I appreciate that.
I’m excited to see what the J-School has to offer me in my last three semesters of undergrad. Hopefully they’re as challenging and rewarding as this semester has been.