October 17, 2018

My year in review

Posted

As of Jan. 9, my first year as a full-time reporter is officially over and I’ve learned a lot about the profession and myself in that time. While it’s not as glamorous as people think, it’s an interesting career I’ve chosen and it’s made me grow up in ways I wasn’t prepared for.

Reporting can be the most difficult, thankless, time-consuming line of work I’ve ever done, but it is also the most rewarding and surprising, depending on the day. Some days, I get to photograph little kids laughing as they meet Santa or the Easter Bunny and other days I have to report on a car crash or house fire that resulted in death and loss.

It’s a bittersweet job, journalism.

One of the strange things about the profession is that you never feel like you’re doing a good enough job. Talking with my peers over the months, it would appear to be a common denominator of the reporter. It seems we only hear from the public when it’s criticism or unpleasantness, so it can be too easy to fall into a pattern of assuming the worst in people and becoming callous and sarcastic. But then you get a card from a community establishment thanking you for taking photos at their event or see a child’s face light up from seeing their photo in the newspaper, and it all makes sense again.

The details of the job were not the only thing I learned. I’ve had to slowly learn to let the little things go, focus on the positive, find beauty in the ordinary and scream into a pillow when I think I can’t take it anymore. Then, I get up the next day and do it all over again.

I have been given the opportunities to share in the joy of accomplishments and the pain of loss felt by many kinds with people whom I otherwise never would have met.

While it’s been a difficult year, it’s also been one of the best. I’ve gotten to dress up and go to chamber of commerce balls, put on my mud boots and interview farmers, sit in on interesting court hearings, attend events I never would have otherwise gotten to attend and so much more.

I do miss home, but it’s taught me to solve problems on my own (or occasionally do the millennial thing, which is to ignore them and hope they go away). But I’ve grown as a person this year and I’ve had experiences I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else, so for that I have to thank the people of this community who have let me tell their stories.

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