That uber-blurry picture up there? Snapped by a girl at the airport on her Polaroid Instax as we dealt with a four-hour delay back to Miami.
As I was saying last time – there I am, in the line for The Simpsons ride, or the Return of The Mummy ride, or the Race Through New York with Jimmy Fallon ride – and every time, without fail, people around me, behind me, in front of me and, in the case of one of the lines, above and below me, whipped out their smartphones with practiced bravado from their pockets and started the classic life-saving maneuver of living vicariously through others.
I wrote this essay for my Leadership class, as one of the final assignments of the course. In it, I talk about my reconciliation with the idea of pursuing journalism as a career.
My passion for the art of journalism was strengthened during my first year in college, a passion that I thought I’d lost during my year off high school.
Many years ago, through my active participation in my high school’s TV Production Magnet program, I took a liking to the notion of pursuing journalism as a career. I took joy in the workflow of identifying a story worth telling, combining all the resources necessary to tell the story, and finally publishing it for its intended audience.
My being in an immigration status limbo that almost forced me to return to my home country of Argentina to keep studying didn’t send me back home but did force me to take a year off. During this time, I tried to keep myself motivated by sitting in on junior- and graduate-level mass communication classes at Florida International University such as “The History of Journalism” and a special topics class on news literacy, but this charade only lasted so long before I ceased keeping up with the assignments.
My work with Teenlink, a youth-oriented publication that’s delivered on a regular basis to Broward County schools, was also falling by the wayside. For instance, I volunteered to cover the 2013 Book Fair, only to leave unfinished all five of the author profiles I said I would do.
I thought I’d fallen out of love with the craft, but I realized that this lack of motivation was part of a larger mental response against not being in college yet. It was irksome to be sitting in on college classes and working on projects that, despite being in accordance with my passion, were not really helping me make concrete academic or professional progress.
Luckily, my experience writing news articles for The Reporter student newspaper at Miami Dade College this semester has rekindled a fire that I thought I’d lost forever.
With The Reporter being a newspaper as opposed to a television channel, I’ve gotten the chance to explore a kind of journalism that I’m not used to working in. Often times, it’s easier than the multimedia reporting I used to do in high school: I can do interviews over e-mail or phone and not have to worry about lighting, sound quality and video equipment. But on the flip side, it’s harder because of the higher level of writing skill required. In several situations, my editor has alerted me to perspectives on interviewees’ testimonies and to questions about subject matters that I would’ve never thought of.
Though the game is slightly different, The Reporter has nonetheless gotten me fired up about journalism again. Newly, I get rushes that I haven’t felt in so long. Leaving voicemails, requesting interviews, scrubbing through the recordings of telephone interviews, and synthesizing an array of resources into a 500 word article now again feel like activities worth their weight in gold.