I made the decision to major in journalism on a whim and it has been a wild ride in the three years since that decision.
I went into my freshman year of college with a major in political science and no idea what I would choose for my minor. As I was scrolling through the available minors at Park University, I saw journalism, and I clicked it.
To this day I still have no idea why I made that decision, but it’s one of the best choices I’ve ever made.
By the end of my first semester in December 2016, I realized that I hated the squabbling of domestic politics. I had no desire to be a politician and I had no desire to be a researcher for the rest of my life. So, I flipped my major and my minor.
I am now nine weeks away from graduation, in the heart of my internship with Northeast News, and having a full-blown existential crisis about my choices. I’ve been questioning if this is a career that I actually want to stick with.
My closest held principal as I go to report stories is to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” and sometimes I wonder if other people in the field hold the same belief.
I think the people in the journalism field lose their way and forget that we’re supposed to keep those in power in check, question their intentions and always keep an eye out for the deception of those in positions of power. Instead, I think, journalists get caught up in tearing down the weakest members of our society, which I think is at the heart of why I’m questioning my career path.
I want to tell the stories of the people that society has forgotten about, abandoned or harmed. I want to tell the stories of those that hold no power and have no microphone. I never want to lose sight of that.
I’ve spoken with a lot of interesting and kind people over the past seven weeks that have given me insight on countless things. However, one person so far has reignited my passion for journalism. Last week I met with a homeless mother of three who is working on turning her life around to create a better future for herself and her children. Her story should be going into print in the March 11 edition of the Northeast News.
To be able to tell this woman’s story made me remember why I decided to stick with journalism. This woman has had endless roadblocks put in her way and yet she remains kind, even to someone like me who was asking question after question about things she may rather forget.
She reminded me of my own humanity in the hour that I was able to speak with her.
I have to thank the Northeast News for taking me on board. I have learned a lot in these past seven weeks, and I look forward to the few weeks I have left to continue to learn as much as I can.
Working with the Northeast News team has pushed me to go out of my comfort zone. I am an incredibly shy and socially anxious person. My anxiety skyrockets every time I need to make a call or meet with someone new to do an interview in a new place. I’m grateful that I have been thrown into stories that have forced me to face my social anxiety head-on. Most importantly, I am thankful that the Northeast News team has given me a glimpse into what my life might be like after graduation.