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Newsroom withdrawals mean I’ve found the significance in the ordinary of the KU J-School

April 5, 2014

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In high school, my newspaper staff became my second family and room 902 our second home. We had each other’s backs. We worked hard, and we cared about putting together a great product for our school. We disagreed, had difficult moments and made mistakes, but at the end of the day, we were there for each other until we distributed that final newspaper.

That newspaper staff meant everything to me back then.

At KU, I haven’t had that with my journalism peers. I’ve had things somewhat like it in other aspects of my KU life, but nothing like the bond of a newsroom family.

Until now.

Last Thursday, I had the privilege of producing two hours of live KU Student Senate debate coverage for KUJH-TV, our campus TV station. Our team of producers, directors, anchors, production engineers and camera operators came together to do something KUJH has never done before, and it didn’t suck.

And for me, that’s when everything changed.

My collegiate journalism career has included print, online and broadcast experiences. My career focus has changed from print reporter to multimedia journalist to news producer. Since August, I’ve been focused on producing. I produce a political news show every week and improve my writing, story selection, graphics, rundown development and leadership. I take a broadcast lab course that challenges me to report a video story every week, constantly developing my video shooting and editing skills. I work a newsroom shift every Friday that has given me that sense of urgency producers require. All of this regularly verifies that the path I am pursuing is right for me.

The passion I felt Thursday night confirmed everything.

The withdrawals I have this very moment for the newsroom and the yearning I have for another live wall-to-wall coverage experience tells me I’ve found where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing.

And further, with whom I’m supposed to be doing it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a newsroom family. A group of journalism nerds who always want to be better, want to make change, want to do well and want to do good. A group of people who have each other’s backs and are willing to go to bat for the show (or newspaper). A team that knows at the end of the day, it’s about the team, the family, the journalism.

On Thursday, I realized I have that again, and that is a wonderful, wonderful feeling.

KU’s broadcast program needs work. It isn’t where it needs to be. We all know that. But more importantly, we all want to change that. We want to put in the hours, the sleepless nights and the effort to make KUJH extraordinary and significant. We want to produce more newscasts, shows and wall-to-wall coverage.

And I am so excited these are the people with whom I get to do all of that.

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From → Junior

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