“Being a reporter is as much a diagnosis as a job description,” is a quotation included in Kershner 36 by Anna Quindlen. I realized this semester how true this quote is to the reality of being a reporter. All the creditability of a potential source issues and making sure everything is accurate can take hours or days just to check over and make sure everything is right to meet deadlines with quality work. The following has helped me to write fair and balanced accounts of important issues.
The homework assignment(s) I felt really contributed to reaching my goals in EL 227 was all the required stories we wrote, especially the Peer Profile. Besides the short story about the Honors Convocation, this was the first time I have ever really interviewed someone. I was extremely nervous about contacting friends or family of the peer being reviewed, but in the end it all turned out to work wonderfully. This assignment really improved my communication skills and research methods, along with being able to examine the role of the journalist. I never realized how hard it is for journalists or reporters to get the information they need in a timely and effective manner.
One in class activity that was very educational but fun was all the Developing News Exercises. Since the story kept continuing with more and more information it really gave me the feel of being a journalist. Having to interview specific characters and reading “official” documents of the events and problems that have occurred was all very interesting and I loved doing all of it throughout the series of days used to complete this activity. Through this activity I learned to gather news and report it through writing. It was a challenge for me to decide which information was more newsy and what to and what not to include. I also became aware of the important issues in journalism. I never realize how journalists have a strict line of laws they have to follow and how easily it is to cross that line. (For example: calling someone a murderer even though they were never convicted, on accused.)
The Moodle (moodle.setonhill.edu) activities were the most helpful online, especially with the Term Project Pith Forum . It was very helpful to have feedback from other students in the class about a topic I was planning to writing about. The final project was a topic that I was not entirely sure of what I wanted to do. Through the participation from the class and helpful comments, my topic slowly started to further develop and turn into an interesting story. This activity contributed heavily to creating a positive learning environment since everyone was always willing to help each other out when needed.
As the semester comes to an end, I am relieved to say that I have successfully survived EL 227. Although the class was helpful and at time fun, journalism is not something I could ever see myself doing in the future. Even though I was not interesting in news writing, I feel that this class has pushed me to expand my variety of writing methods and has, over all, been a great experience.
**All bold print was taken from Participation Portfolio 4.