This job is more than just a job

Published 10:56pm Friday, April 5, 2013

This week I was reminded just how much I love being a journalist. As I clocked out for my dinner break Wednesday night, I decided to ride along with a fellow reporter as she was being sent to take pictures, pictures of what we heard on the office police scanner to be an overturned logging truck on U.S. Highway 80. Our editor had told her to go check out the scene, and I knew it was one I wanted to ride along for — even though I was technically not working.

As we drove up to the scene, unsure of what we were about to see, she looked at me and asked if I wanted to wait in the car — to which I turned to her and said, “No way,” as we jumped out of the car, eager to find out what was going on.

Making our way to the actual scene, she began taking pictures, and I couldn’t help myself, but talk to random strangers standing on the side of the road and walk right up to men in uniforms, trying to get some answers. I realized that it didn’t matter whether or not I was on the clock — being a journalist is not so much my job, but it is who I am. I had to hear from every possible source as to what exactly happened and what they planned to do about it.

Being a journalist gave me access to the site and the opportunity to gather the news myself.

While the scene was one I hope I never witness again, I won’t forget walking back to the car and having someone slow their car and roll the window down to ask if anyone was hurt. It was honestly a thrill to be the one to share the news no matter how scary it may be. To be able to tell someone the details of what happened and watch them react is something I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of.

As we drove back to the office, I thought about how my dinner break had turned into a time for breaking news, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I get tired and overwhelmed on the job, but who doesn’t? I’ve found that putting in those extra hours and making the extra effort to get the best, most important information is always worth it.

Going into this business I was aware of the phrase, the news never sleeps — but now I’m fully aware of just how true it is. There’s always an event to cover, someone to talk to and something to shoot pictures of — even here in Selma. The news doesn’t take a vacation; it doesn’t take a break for the weekend or end on normal business hours. Being a journalist is exhausting and wonderful at the same time, and I’m convinced it’s the best job in the world.

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