Today I handed in my resignation from the Peninsula Daily News. It has been four years since I started and will be about 4 1/2 by the time I’m gone. My last official day will be May 20. After that I will head back to Texas. I’ll be spending some time at my parents’ house while I apply and get ready for graduate school. I have several options for graduate school and am still deciding which one to take up.
I am excited for my future job prospects, but there are a few things I’ll miss about journalism.
So, without further ado, here are 10 of the things I’ll miss about being in journalism (in no particular order.)
1. The way most other journalists are interested and talkative about current issues. They get excited and impassioned about bills legislation or sometimes a good feature. I was sitting at a table full of coworkers the other day and we were bantering back and forth over legislation and legislators. All of us were playing the devil’s advocate. Just debating the issues can be invigorating. You just don’t get that in many other fields.
2. All of the cool things you get to do for work. I’ve blown glass, climbed into a huge logging truck (and also ship!), been inside a rock crawler, talked to the governor. . . And so many more things. I wouldn’t say that every day is different, but many of them are!
3. The possibility of changing things. From reporting on local and national issues to writing about babies in critical care, it is one way for us to help by letting a wide range of people know about the issues. I was recently talking to a friend about how many newspapers have a plan on how to publish if there is an emergency. They were surprised by the fact that we would be worried about the story rather than helping dig people out. I made the point that by getting the story out there, it can help assemble and organize people. Sometimes reporters doing our job is more effective than throwing down our pens and picking up shovels. By getting the information out there we can sometimes help more than we alone could have.
4. The adrenaline rush. There is nothing quite like a story happening on deadline or election night in a newsroom.
5. The crazy stories. The banana man is a prime example. A guy dressed in a child’s banana costume flashes people and waves a rifle around shouting anti neo Nazi stuff. All on election night. Total craziness. It makes for great conversation pieces! I can probably find a story that will relate to everyone if I’m stuck at a boring party or something.
6. The effort most of my coworkers and I put in to see issues from all sides. There is the perception of the biased media but every journalist I’ve worked with puts a lot of time into not slanting the story. Also in the general public almost no effort is put in to see the other side, so it is interesting to watch us seek out the people who are on the other side of the story.
7. The way it feels when you write a great story and get to see it in newsprint the next day. It really is a sense of accomplishment to see work you spent eight or 10 or 12 hours doing appear in black and white in newsprint the next day.
8. The research. I will miss sinking my teeth into something new. A few years ago I wrote a story about airports and regulations around the surrounding trees. A consultant for the government doing it said it was the most accurate story on the issue he had ever read. I love that feeling when the research pays off.
9. Being “Reporter Paige.” My friends know I’ve always been a little shy, but somehow I’m much less so when reporting. I hope I can take that facet of my personality with me to whatever the future holds.
10. Always having stories to tell. Whether I’m on a really bad blind date or at a party or any other situation where you are talking to random people, journalism makes for awesome conversation. Not only do I cover such a wide range of issues that I have something that everyone can relate to, but I also practice telling stories and talking to people every day. It has expanded my sociability greatly.
Coming tomorrow: 10 things I won’t miss about being in journalism