Why be a student journalist?

We’ve all had those days where we’re just done. We are over the day or week, would rather curl up and sleep. Hide away until the feeling of imminent doom has passed.

Okay, this might sound a bit dramatic. But that’s been this week – basically.

My campus has been going through a lot this week and we’ve been dealing with a fair bit of controversy, which is being covered both by our student media (i.e. me and my peers!) as well as local and national news stations.

As a student journalist, these are the things that I live for. Protests? Let me film it live. Huge student forum? You’ll find me and my peers recording audio, live-tweeting, waiting in lines to talk to officials. We’re those students who show up and enter a room 10 minutes before everyone else as media, the ones who have huge bags under our eyes because we’ve been up all night perusing the internet for leads.

It’s exhausting, it’s sometimes terrifying and I’ll admit, it’s sometimes boring.

Yes, some stories require you to sit in big meetings hearing about reports, numbers, stats, etc. Others bring you to the front lines of an issue and you get to report on the next big thing. Your byline will be under the headline of the top story and for a moment, you’ve never felt more proud.

Because even though being a student journalist has those qualities that make the role seem so tiring and daunting, which it can be, every second is worth your time.

Meeting correspondents and commentators from stations like CNN, standing side-by-side with reports from local news channels, having students ask you questions about what is going on because they know they can rely on you to know – these are the things that make every stressful and tiring moment of being  student journalist worth it.

I have met people that are now irreplaceable in my life due to me pursuing this career and I would never change this decision if given the chance. The opportunities I have been able to take advantage of are indescribable, unique and all together amazing experiences.

I say all this to remind people that journalists, and those of us working to be one full time, are here to help. We are hear to keep the public informed, to share the facts and to be as ethical as possible in our reporting. We have a job to do, yes. Sometimes that includes being unable to share certain personal opinions or not being able to print something due to cuts for the printer. These are all things that come with the job because sometimes not every single moment is enjoyable and that can be said with any job.

But it is important to remember that as student journalists, we are human beings first. We have emotions, we feel things. We have our own minds and opinions and we are more than willing to share those opinions outside the capacity of a reporter.

If we seem distracted or out of it, we’re probably focused on a story that has our full attention. We have one-track minds, and by that I mean multi-track minds because we are always working on more than one article at once. However, that one track is still in the name of journalism and that’s our happy place.

We are student journalists because we care about sharing the news, we believe it is important to be informed and that it is our duty to share the latest news with the rest of the student body. I say all of this in my name, not reflective of any other organization I am a part of. Just pure, open and honest me.

We are here for you.

I am here for you.

 

 

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