Only Up From Here

I like to tell myself that anyone can change the world. Too much weight is put on talent, or the aptitude for talent. Especially within writing circles, too many people put down their pen because ‘it wasn’t for them’, or ‘there’s better competition out there’.

I call BS.

Talent will get you through High School and maybe Freshmen year, but after that, passion and hard-work take the spotlight. I believe this is true for most majors, but in writing especially.

The world is constantly changing, and because of that, talent will get you nowhere if you can’t adapt. I’m hoping this class will teach me not only how to adapt to the roaring tide of Journalism, but how to ride the tide to a successful career.

The future does not fit in the 
containers of the past.” 
Rishad Tobaccowala

There are two things I hope to take away from this class.

  1. How to tell a story using media that is not strictly written articles.
  2. How to reach a larger audience.

I’m the first to admit- I’m not good at getting people to pay attention to me. As a natural introvert, I shy away from the spotlight. So this class will be instrumental in teaching me techniques to build my brand and broadcast that brand for the world to see.

As I said earlier, I believe anyone can change the world. I also believe the most efficient way to make an impact is to go to the people you’re writing about. Human interest stories have always interested and moved me.

My career inspiration is Brandon Stanton, author of the Humans of New York blog. Stanton started his career trying to honestly capture the people of New York. His project was so successful he now brings attention to social justice and human rights movement all around the world by interviewing the people most directly impacted by it. He’s covered wars in Iraq and famine in Africa, just to name a few.

In a previous class I’ve interviewed nonprofits in Laramie, and even had the opportunity to talk with a client of the Interfaith Food Pantry. Good journalism cuts to the heart of issues in society, and I believe people are that heart.

I hope to continue interviewing sources that are close to the issue at hand and ask them about their personal experiences and hopes. Organizations like the Laramie Foster Closet or Feeding Laramie Valley are possible sources. I have a lot of interest in the mental health field, so I also hope to use the Wyoming Association of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers (WAMHSAC) as a source.

The last possible source I am excited to look into are the guest speakers the university brings in. Events like the Days of Dialogue are excellent opportunities to talk to unique people.

I’m not sure where this class will take me, or what I will learn. I certainly have a lot of room to grow, so wherever this path leads, it’ll only be up from here.

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