Watching and reporting as history is made

Published 6:04 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2013

People love to quote the Kennedys, maybe because their styles and their words were always so eloquent. I have even used my favorite Jackie Kennedy quote in a previous column but I just cannot seem to stay away from it. Jackie Kennedy wore clothes that I only dream of wearing but she said something that in my career I live out each and every day.

She said that, “Being a reporter seems a ticket out to the world.”

At the University of Alabama, journalism was my ticket abroad with an international travel magazine to see the Alps and all of Bavaria.

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In Selma so far, being a reporter has worked as a ticket to learn about Selma’s history and families and residents have kindly shared with me their stories of Selma just because I asked them a few questions for a story. Journalism has been my ticket to get to know people in a small town that are so welcoming and warmand accepted me quickly.

But this week journalism is my ticket to meet Vice President Joe Biden. Journalism might not pay out millions in salary, but how many bankers and lawyers have the opportunity to greet our vice president while in their entry level jobs.

When I accepted the position at the Times-Journal I knew as part of my career path I should first start in a smaller community paper. I was told that if I worked here that I would have the opportunity to cover congress people, state representatives and even the U.S. president because they have often shown up for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in past years.

I am thrilled that this possibility of covering an important figure coming to Selma has now turned into a reality.

I speak for the newsroom when I say we are all anxious for this wonderful weekend ahead — I think even without the vice president’s visit I would still be just as excited to cover something so historical and monumental such as the bridge crossing and all of the events that surround it.

While journalism at this early stage in my career has already given me bundles of opportunities to meet amazing and colorful characters and go places I would have only dreamed, it has also given me amazing experiences in which I can be a part of history being made.

When things happen in Selma may they seem small or unimportant to the outside world, those things could make a huge impact on the Queen City down the road. I love that being a reporter has given me the opportunity to record history as it happens and be a spectator in the front row for every event. Jackie Kennedy said she used to think that history was written by bitter old men, but she knew as well as I do as a journalist that it is sometimes written by thin, girls in their 20’s wearing BCBG heels.

Jackie Kennedy also told reporters at one point that she never wanted to keep a journal because she wanted to simply live her life and not record it. While I agree with her that journals get in the way of really living, I think I am able to record my life via the newspaper each day as a reporter through not only my columns, but through my stories. My stories give readers a glance at events and happenings as I saw them.

I cannot wait for the Bridge Crossing Jubilee and for history to be made when a sitting vice president comes to visit and make a speech at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. I also cannot wait to be on the front row of  the events happening in real time, and very unlike a bitter old man or a girl writing in her journal, I hope to take it all in, write it all down and use my status as a reporter to do just that.