I constantly think about how to create unity between everyone instead of using the typical tactics that create divides instead. And all I can think about is fall 2015, sitting in a 300+ lecture on how to approach inequality and bias and add more diversity to the conversation.
There is a huge lack of it. Context is the backstory, the information that doesn’t quite make it to the news reels and front pages because it’s already been said. But as journalists, it’s also our responsibility to keep reminding those who are watching what the big deal is.
Do you know what ocean acidification is? I didn’t.
Tonight, I attended a lecture by National Geographic environmental writer, Craig Welch. Welch wrote “Sea Change,” a Seattle Times story about ocean acidification that drastically affects marine life and communities from Southeast Asia to the Pacific Northwest. I learned that people react to ocean acidification, which is elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean, more than they do to climate change, which is the same thing but in the atmosphere.
When I met Latashia, she wasn’t ready to interview. She just came home from Alabama, a place that held not-so-happy memories for her, after visiting a sick grandmother. For the past seven years, Columbia has been her safe haven. Revisiting the physical location of her past shook her present world, and she wasn’t ready to tell her story when I first came to speak to her.
A couple of weeks ago I visited New York for the first time with the Mizzou Magazine Club to tour magazine offices, speak with editors and designers (some were Mizzou alumni!), and get a feel for the city. One of the main questions we asked were what they looked for when hiring interns; this is the collective consensus.
After a bout of procrastination, I am attempting to get out of it by writing something I don’t have to write. I don’t know if you realize how refreshing it is to get it all out on paper, er, computer screen (unless you’re a writer and you know what I’m saying).
This semester is probably my hardest one yet. On top of my internship for the town paper, I am an editor for another class. In another class, it is writing intensive. So for nine credits out of the 17 I am enrolled in, I am just writing. Except I’m really not just writing, because that’s the easy part.
I am scouring the city for stories. I am calling, emailing, texting everyone to talk about stories. I am setting up times to interview people and going to said interviews. Then, when all’s said and done, when I’ve questioned the shit out of my sources and double-triple checked everything to make sure it’s as accurate as possible, then I can write. Writing is a privilege, and I am proud/tired/in love with the career I am going to make out of it. I am thrilled by the notion that in less than nine months, I am going to hopefully be paid to do something I have always liked doing. That alone is going to get me through my classes. And do you know what’s sad? I’ve been doing this for a year and a half, unpaid, with barely a social life or financial stability intact, but I can tell you right away I’m a lightyear better than I was on day one. I wanted to write, and they let me write, and even though I substantially eff up all the time, I think I’m getting the hang of things.