Newspaper business old, not boring

Published 9:58 pm Wednesday, October 10, 2012

There are many journalists out there who move from print to television. But I found myself doing the opposite. After a dose of television working for Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, I knew I would go into the newspaper businesses.

Don’t get me wrong — interning at HLN during the Casey Anthony saga was an incredible experience. It kept me on my toes and rushing back and forth from different desks in the newsroom. It was an incredibly educational experience to cover that news story through online outlets and social media while sitting in the studio.

However, when my superiors would ask about my future goals and aspirations in journalism, I was not sure what to say. I had this longing and this itch to go out and cover news. I wanted to cover news in the field and not sit in a big studio all day just recycling the news that other people wrote about.

Email newsletter signup

I wanted to be the author and the editor of the story. I wanted to see my byline instead of organizing other writer’s stories for television.

When you hear preachers talk about that hole in your heart that can only be filled by Jesus — well that is the kind of missing and empty feeling I had about working in newspapers.

At the Times-Journal I have been able to do just that. When I first moved to Selma people would ask how I liked it. They would always throw me a strange look when I would tell them I loved it. Now after being here for four or five months I find that people are asking me, “So are you still liking Selma?” When I say yes it is an even stranger look. But being a part of a newspaper news team is everything I hoped it would be.

I get to see my byline everyday and people call me and ask me questions about events in town. In Journalism school at Alabama my professors very much made it sound like working in newspapers was the adventure of a lifetime. Some even made it sound like journalists were heroes. I think heroism is going a little too far but the adventure is everything I hoped it would be.

This week is National Newspaper Week and I am so proud to be in an industry that is very old but not at all antiquated. Being a journalist for a newspaper now is not as cool as it was in all of those 1980’s Rom Coms I grew up watching, but there is still something poetic about writing for a newspaper (even if we don’t use typewriters and drink a lot like Hemingway did.)

The people I worked with in television said now is the worst time to go into the newspaper business. But I am so happy they were wrong. I work for the oldest daily newspaper in Alabama. For me writing the story never gets old and I hope the readers feel the same way about the paper.

I hope when readers pick up that stack of papers in the morning off their doorstep and get the scoop before beginning the day it never gets old. I hope cutting out articles with scissors and putting them in scrapbooks never goes away.