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To my newsroom…

May 8, 2015

Dear KUJH News,

Every so often, you make a decision that will change your life. Deciding to get involved in KUJH News my junior year marked one of those decisions.

But it didn’t only change my life.

It made it.

I didn’t want to go to KU. Other schools have more prestigious journalism programs, and I was accepted to those schools four years ago. I ended up here because of the in-state tuition. But if I had to do it all again, I’d still choose KU’s School of Journalism.

For one reason: KUJH News.

We go to college to be prepared for the real world and, ideally, to have a job at the end of it. I secured both of those things, thanks to KUJH News.

Being involved in KUJH has been hard. Expectations are high. We fail. And we get coached up for not performing to our potential. But everything — every single thing — that happens or is said in that newsroom is meant to make us better broadcast journalists. Nothing else at KU even comes close to preparing us for the real world of broadcast journalism the way KUJH News does. Without it, I would not be the journalist I am today. I would not be ready to start a career as a broadcast journalist.

I’ve been a reporter, producer, assignment editor and crew member at KUJH. I’ve fallen down. I’ve gotten up. I’ve been challenged. I’ve been praised. I’ve produced weekly newscasts, live Student Senate and General Election specials, live coverage of Senator Bob Dole’s trip to Kansas and a live debate.

And those are just the highlights from student media.

Because of my hard work and dedication to KUJH News, I succeeded as well at WOW! 6News and WIBW-TV. I produced professionally before even getting my degree – before even starting my last semester. But under no circumstances would I have been ready for any of those opportunities had I not become involved in KUJH News and valued my time there.

And now, my time in that newsroom is over. Our last newscast has aired. I have no reason to reserve another camera or sit in an edit bay. I’m graduating and starting a job in less than three weeks.

But it doesn’t feel over.

I’ve thought about this a lot. Why am I not super emotional that this huge part of my life (KUJH News, not just college in general) is over? For one, it may be that it’s too soon. But besides that, I know it’s not really over because the lessons I’ve learned and the relationships I’ve built will stay with me long after I’ve exited that newsroom for the last time. My bond with KUJH News isn’t over; it’s changing.

I know my mentors and my friends will always have my back – to critique me, to build me up, to tear me down and to just be there for me. So many days, I’d find myself in the newsroom for no reason other than to just be around the newsroom with these people who cared about putting on the best possible product they could — even if no eyes but ours would ever see it.

I could list off many lessons I’ve learned from KUJH News and the staff and students who work there over the past two years. Explain why producing is like baking a cake or why I run up and down the hallway instead of walk. But I’ll never be able to fully articulate what my time at KUJH News has done for me.

It not only prepared me for my television news producing career in ways that nothing else in the School of Journalism did, but it also prepared me for life in ways nothing else at the University of Kansas did.

You saved me. You made me. And I would choose you again. And again. And again.

Thank you.

Love,

Allison

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