The Daily Eastern News is a school newspaper affiliated with Eastern Illinois University. Students work on it to get experience before stepping out into the real world. The paper is distributed all around campus, and the whole town itself. They make it very easy for students to get involved, and start their writing careers. Learning how to interview someone is easy. People learn for years how to do it, but no teaching is anywhere near as good as actually interviewing someone.
I talked to multiple people about working at the Daily Eastern News. The amazing thing was the way that every single person talked about it. They all love doing what they do for the newspaper. Each person talks about the amount of time that they spend there, which seems to be a lot more than they would hope for, but it is totally worth it in the end, because of the real world experiences it gives them.
Sean Hastings is a good example of getting involved, really going all in, and getting a lot out of working at the newspaper. Sean came into the newsroom very excited about working for a newspaper and gaining experience. In no time at all he was a regular sports reporter. At first he hated interviewing people. He said there were only a view times in which he felt comfortable at first. He said that after a few months of doing this pretty regularly, he started to get very comfortable, so much so in fact that he was building personal relationships with these people because he was a beat writer for the volleyball and swimming team. He also talked about how quickly he has improved his writing skills, and being able to determine what is worthy of story and what isn’t.
I have noticed that is one of the biggest problems with journalists starting out, whether it’s a reporter, or a multimedia journalist, new journalists have a very tough time decided what is news worthy or not. Personally, it is something that I still have trouble with. A lot of it comes down to ethics. Ethics take time to learn. The real problem with them is that there isn’t always a right or wrong answer when it comes to ethics and what is right and what is wrong. I feel as if a person can learn about ethics, and what stories to run from trial and error. When a writer messes up, it is seen by a lot of people. That is a big part as to why students who work for the Daily Eastern News catch on so fast, because they don’t want people seeing their mistakes. They only want their best to be seen by the public. Therefore, you have to try your best, and continue to get better with the experiences that are given to them.
Back to the story about Sean and the paper. Sean was working for the paper doing some random assignments at first. After a while, he realized that he wanted to start to write about sports. He started writing, and doing some various sporting assignments. By the time his sophomore year started he became the Assistant Sports editor. He did that for a while and kept getting better and better. One day he got a text from the Sports editor that he was quitting. Sean then realized that he was now the new Sports editor. At first he was excited, but even more so, he was nervous. He realized very quickly that it was a lot of responsibility. He realized that he was the one in charge if someone messed up. He was the one who had to start figuring out what is newsworthy and what isn’t. He needed to learn how to delegate, and not waste any time.
He said that the harder he worked, the easier the job became for him. He still has to spend a lot of time in the newsroom, whether he wants to all of the time or not. He said that he plans on doing this until he graduates in order to keep gaining experience and confidence. He said that this will look great on his resume and he suggests that anyone interested in writing at all should work for the paper. Even if the person figures out that they don’t want to do it, they will at least have gotten the opportunity to give it a go. I thought that this story was a good story to get out there because it makes something that seems difficult not so bad. It might give someone hope, or a little bit of motivation to do something that they want to do.