This semester was the first time I helped out at the University of Akron’s student newspaper The Buchtelite. There are so many things I have learned throughout this experience that I will take into my next semester of learning!
- Connections are Important
When it comes to writing news stories for campus, I have discovered how important it is to connect and learn more about what others do. Finding friends and classmates for interviews and story ideas are vital. I have gotten great story inspiration from other members in The Buchtelite group or other students room the University of Akron.
- Writing is a Team Effort
It is so interesting to learn what each person contributes to the article you are working on. I have received help and advice from other members of The Buchtelite team in areas that I need some more guidance on. One of the members took on the photography (and editing for the photos) for the piece I was working on. She gave me some tips about taking photos and engaging with the organization and staff I was writing a story about. I also attended some editing sessions where I got to see the behind-the-scenes of shaping and reworking upcoming articles. Knowing what the copy editor looks for in a piece can be helpful to clean up your own style and command of grammar.
- News Moves Fast
Deadlines are supremely important when it comes to working on stories. There were times that I worked on a story and there was a specific timeframe that it would be most relevant. Sometimes, I finished my story on time but on other occasions I had to make the piece more of a review of the event.
- Ask Questions!
I would be lying if I said I was confident handling the stories that came my way. News writing is different from the academic writing I was accustomed to. I had to familiarize myself with some of the structure and style that news writing demanded. Not only that, but navigating unfamiliar terrain in interviewing and engaging with the organizations you are writing about is very new to me. I asked a lot of questions and it was worth it! I was pretty hesitant and timid at first, but I see my confidence grow with each story.
- Be Attentive
Ever since I started helping out at The Buchtelite, I am more attentive to the University of Akron news. I am always trying to keep up to date on what is happening around campus for some potential stories. I have definitely increased my awareness of different activities that the University of Akron hosts.