Between work and school, this summer has been flying by.
I find it hard to believe we are half-way into August, yet here we are.
Equally hard to believe is I have been full-time with the Stettler Independent and Castor Advance for nearly eight months.
Again, the time has been absolutely flying by.
In the several months I have been writing for the Independent and the Advance as a staff writer, I have come to notice a few parallels between this job and my previous life as an Emergency Medical Technician.
One of the biggest parallels I have noticed between the two jobs is they both sort of work in a “feast or famine” type of cycle.
I remember shifts when I was still active on ambulance when we would barely move for the full four days on duty; those shifts definitely counted as ‘famine.’ However, those shifts were contrasted by the shifts where we ran hard for all four days.
I’m finding the news business to be much the same way. While things were busy during much of July, by the early part of August things had slowed right down to the point I was struggling for story ideas. Then, last week hit and by the end of the week I was back to having more on the go than can fit in one edition of the paper. That is definitely not a bad problem to have.
Another parallel I have noticed is the kick of adrenaline I get when I am chasing a story. While nowhere near as drastic as the kick I would get when responding to a call, there is enough there that it keeps me coming back for more.
Finally, I find both jobs deeply meaningful, just in different ways. When I worked on ambulance, there was nothing else like the feeling of a job well done, knowing without a doubt that I had made a difference in someone’s life. While the stakes are nowhere near as high, I truly the believe that the reporting I do is as meaningful as the work I did on ambulance.
Those in the media have taken a lot of heat over the last couple of years with cries of “fake news” and biased reporting coming from all sides.
The stories I write may not garner national attention, but they still need to be told. They also need to be built on a foundation of truth. While the human element alone makes it virtually impossible to remove all bias from reporting, the best thing I can do to build trust with Stettler and Castor readers is to be fair in the stories I write.
I don’t always get it right, but I like to think I get it right a lot more often than I get it wrong. Then again, virtually no one hits 100 per cent of the time. By being as fair and as accurate as I can, I can inform the readers of the communities what is going on, in their local areas anyways; and, just maybe I can help people realize that not all journalists can, or should be, painted with the same brush.
Over the last few months, between school and work, I have learned a lot. I’ve experienced things that have hit me hard. I’ve covered a lot of local and breaking news all of which has been helping guide me into the type of journalist I want to become: someone who is fair, someone with integrity, someone willing to feast while the opportunity is there while taking advantage of the downtime to further develop my skills making me the best at my job that I can be.
I may not have taken the most direct path to this point in my life, but I honestly don’t think I would change a thing, and I appreciate the communities I serve in giving me your trust as I bring municipal politics and community news to the front page of the community newspaper.