‘Journalism found me’ editor says


Journalism is something that I didn’t really look for — rather something that fell in my lap, or my schedule.
My junior year of high school I had to choose between yearbook or journalism as a “filler” class to complete my schedule and I randomly decided to go with journalism.
In my mind they were practically the same thing – writing and taking pictures and having to talk to, ugh, people.
I was very wrong as you can probably guess.
The student newspaper at my high school, The Panther Press, is an incredibly impressive publication backed by an equally as impressive adviser.
If it weren’t for Stacey Hetrick and the wonderful work she has done with this independently funded student newspaper, I would not be here writing in this column every week.
Mrs. Hetrick always told us that we were real journalists and the stories that we told were equally as important as all the others.
Although I’ve always known this thanks to her, I truly felt and knew that I was a legitimate journalist this weekend.
Thanks to the generosity of the Thrival Innovation and Music Festival, I was able to travel to Pittsburgh to photograph and cover a music festival that hosted a number of big-name artists.
As an active concert goer, being able to be in front of the barricade and just a few feet away from any artist, popular or not, was a surreal experience.
This shock and amazement I felt was short-lived, however because I knew that I wasn’t at this festival to gawk in awe.
I was there to properly represent my publication and do my job and there was no way that I was going to let myself mess up this opportunity.
Surprisingly, I was very pleased with the quality of the photos I took considering this was my first time shooting a festival or any type of live concert experience.
Not only did I manage to get some half-decent photos, but I also mustered up enough confidence to talk to some of the other older and more experienced photo-journalists also covering the event.
They were no more glamorous than me and equally as excited to be there, which was very comforting.
I honestly didn’t feel that out of place amidst these very professional people and I’ll even go out on a limb and say I actually felt like I fit in.
Prior to my participation with the Panther Press, I would’ve never believed that I would one day be a collegiate journalist interacting with other professional media representatives, but here I was, putting myself out there and doing just that.
Journalism is a lot of putting yourself out there and being able to connect with other people.
Having the opportunity to connect with others and share people’s stories on a public platform is a privilege in that I can get to be a part of every little story I tell.
Whether it’s talking to a Gannon student, interviewing a guest speaker or covering a major festival, every story I share has allowed me to mature into the person I am today and I am very grateful for that.
I might not have been looking for journalism but I am certainly glad it found me.

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