First week fly-by: I still love journalism

It’s over! The first week of my first full-time internship is over. How?

It’s possible it doesn’t feel like a full work-week because, well, it wasn’t. I started Tuesday. Which when I think about it was a great thing, because I’m not used to working full-time and I’ve been exhausted every single night. On Thursday, I accidentally took a three-hour nap in the evening. Whoops.

A screenshot of an article I wrote, featuring the picture I took!
A screenshot of an article I wrote, featuring the picture I took!

Those four days were a total whirlwind. By Friday, I had written six articles (five of which have been published and one of which comes out tomorrow, in the Sunday paper!), been sent to take pictures at an elementary school, cover a civic club meeting and interview a local resident at the Genealogical Society in town. I have been to the police station twice to write up reports, figured out at least 1/4 of the confusing one-way streets in this tiny town and received my very own key, computer and cubicle-like-area in the newsroom.

More importantly, I’ve had every single article I’ve written ripped apart and put back together way better than it originally was.

Obviously that wasn’t my favorite part, but it’s also an incredibly important part of the learning process. It’s been four days and I feel like I should have perfected the art of writing for The Messenger, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m still putting dates before times and writing weak ledes.

To my chagrin and eternal gratitude, the other reporters have taken the time to read over my articles and reform them into something better, all while allowing me to keep my name on the article. (Disclaimer: they’re not completely re-writing the articles, don’t get me wrong. About 85-90 percent of it is still 100 percent mine). They’ve corrected petty grammar errors, fixed style issues that are unique to The Messenger–and informed me what these rules are–and generally made sure that the article sounds as good as it can. Without completely rewriting it, that is.

These four days have been packed with interviews, technological issues and a whole lot of learning. I already feel better than I did when I started.

And one of the things I was worried about, that I would hate it and completely regret my dedication to journalism and decision to attend J-School, has proved to be a moot point: I still love it.

Yes, despite the moments when my knees are shaking as I cross in front of a stadium full of children to snap a photo; despite the feelings of insufficiency that fill me when my articles get edited; despite the fact that I am incredibly aware of my young age and inexperience; despite all of that, I love it.

Because journalism, guys. Because anything can happen once I roll up to the newsroom; because I get to tell stories (and get paid for them!); because I love the camaraderie between the reporters and want to one day be a part of that; because of all the other things I can’t find the words for, I love it.

I can’t wait to see what the next nine weeks bring to the table, and I’m speechlessly excited for what will come after that.

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