The conference call was expected, but by the time I hung up, it hit me: journalism has always been part of my DNA. And while I started this blog several years ago as a place to collect and easily share the writing of my post-television news career, I (fortunately) became so busy, blogging fell to the bottom of the priority list. But an important issue needs attention, and I’ve rebooted my blog with hopes of writing the storybook ending.
Do you remember – what placed you on the path to where you are today? We all have those defining moments; where you can see the possible direction of your journey. Mine displayed signs of “future journalist” a long time ago, and here’s a few formative examples:
- watching the news with my family as a kid, and discussing some of the events of the day
- revealing in an 8th grade autobiographical paper, “I want to be a news reporter when I grow up”
- enjoying a current events class in high school focused on issues in the news, and earning an “A”
Some steps in what became a long road, yet it’s what initially led me to work on our school newspaper and yearbook. By my senior year, enough students were interested, and volunteer efforts became part of a credited publications class. We learned the finer points of interviewing, writing, editing, lay-out, and even developing photos. Seeing your name in a print by-line was beyond exciting! But there was something more to it. Maybe it was realizing you had to earn the right to tell someone’s story, or dig to tell it fairly, or understand you could make a difference through journalism.
This interest carried into college, where I majored in Radio-TV-Film, and minored in journalism and political science at U.W. Oshkosh. I joined the Advance-Titan (A-T) staff, and for four semesters was part of a wonderful newspaper team. We were using real-world skills to put together a product we were not only proud of, but knew would also open doors to a job.
Along with working on the paper, I was also featured in it a few times, including as part of a review written about “The New Music Show.” It was a Titan-TV project, and all-student produced, which meant lighting, sound, and camera crews — working as though it were a live show. The bands were booked, but usually didn’t have time for more than a single shoot, and as one of the hosts, it demanded time, talent, and a lot of energy. Some of my favorite people on campus recently found this review in the A-T archives, and shared it with me. Evidence of my love of music and media, colliding on the pages of our school’s newspaper!
It’s a long-time success story, yet could this be where it ends? The conference call was informative, the A-T had fallen on hard times, and needed support. A donation-matching challenge was recently issued, but the deadline was hard, and fast approaching. Thinking back to the hard work, the hands-on learning, the fun – I wouldn’t be where I am without it – and future journalists may no longer have this opportunity?
Will you join me to help write the way this story ends? Please make your gift, today: www.uwosh.edu/go/weneedtheat