I am a journalist, hear me type

By Cassidy Horn –

I write because I am a writer. It’s just what I do.

Breathing is kind of my thing too, but it is nothing like writing.

The relationship my mind and hands have with a keyboard is miraculous. The only good things that come from the connection between my mind and my mouth are eating and kissing. The whole talking thing, it never works out. My tongue cannot form words with the same magnitude that my fingers can.

Journalism is not just my career path or major; it’s what I live to do.  I love to report, write and photograph, and now, thanks to the ever-changing face of technology, I have the power to reach audiences across the globe. Changing the medium, or the way news is consumed, is not putting writers out of jobs – it is creating a bigger playground for writers to enjoy.

“Writers will always be a necessity. The nature in people wants to know what is going on around them,” said Micah Moore, Digital Project Specialist and former reporter for Stephenville’s Empire-Tribune. “Although the newspaper is in a great transformation, there will always be a need for writers, even though the way they share their stories is changing drastically.”

The medium will always be changing and that doesn’t matter. Writers will write, because it is what we do. The audience will read as long as we write articles, blogs and books worth reading.

“Journalism needs writers to describe, explain and analyze. I write the same whether it’s for a book, a magazine, my blog, whatever. The important issue isn’t the medium. It’s the message,” Bobby Hawthorne, award-winning journalist and writing instructor, said.

Although the generation that craves having magazines, books and newspapers in their hand will eventually die out along with print, the need to read never will.

“There is nothing better than reading a good story. Video and podcasts are great, but people are truly transformed through reading. The written word makes people think. We all need to think,” Jeanne Acton, University Interscholastic League’s Director of Journalism, said.

“Writing for publication means editing.  Editing is perfecting your writing. Writing for publication also gives the writer an
audience. It gives the piece meaning and purpose,” Acton said.

Although journalists will always write, the journalist that can write, photograph, and shoot and edit video will be more valuable. Our society has gone from newspapers to radio, then to TV and online publications, to Tweets and YouTube videos. A reporter must know how to cover a story in every format and be ready to learn the next new medium.

“Being a reporter takes talent and skill, especially when you are working on a big story,” Moore said. “It takes a level of skill that not everyone has. You can’t get comfortable just being a news reporter. It’s not a newspaper reporter or a website reporter; its adapting to whatever platform may come, and it will change again in our lifetime.”

Employers are looking for people that can write efficiently and communicate. Journalism teaches both.

“Journalism writing is about so much more than simply writing,” Acton said. “You have to be able to communicate clearly, both orally and on paper, and be able to organize several different opinions or comments into one story. This type of writing makes people better communicators and regardless of what field you go into you must be able to communicate.”

With more convenient methods for readers to consume news, writers must continuously grow and become better writers.

“The media platform, no matter what it is, can only be successful if the integrity of the writing captivates and holds the audience’s attention and gains their loyalty,” Tim O’Byrne, publisher of Working Ranch Magazine, said. “Write like you are writing for someone who truly knows you, someone that gets you. If you don’t, you’ll always hold back that little sparkle, and it’s that sparkle that lights the fire in the reader.”

I write because I am a writer.  It’s just what I do.

Cassidy Horn is a freshman Broadcast Journalism student from Dalhart, Texas. She currently serves as the Advertising Manager for Texan News Service, Texan TV News and Cross Timbers Trails Magazine.

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