I have days when I question my chosen career path. I’m sure most of us do. There are times when I wonder why I decided to pursue journalism-when getting the story is so stressful, finding sources is so aggravating, or solving a coverage problem is so difficult that I want to quit. (I’ll just become a teacher, I think, and then I shudder at having to grade tons of paperwork.)
Luckily, there are other days that reinvigorate my love for the industry. I have had many moments when I have had to stop everything just to take in the good work journalists do for our society and how I have become a part of that revolution. This past Friday was one of those days.
I traveled with my partner-in-crime, Web Editor Kaitlin, into New York City for a student newspaper workshop at The New York Times. Not only were we surrounded by geeky writers and editors like ourselves, but we were treated to a full day of presentations on the industry and activities to help us become better at what we do. Against a backdrop of arguably the oldest, most popular newspaper in the nation, Kaitlin and I were fangirl-ing pretty hard.
Coming back from the workshop fresh-faced, you can imagine I was stopped in my tracks come Monday, when I heard the tragic news of the Boston Marathon bombings. How can such a terrible event not make you question the morality of humanity?
As I turned on the evening broadcasts, checked my social media feeds, and scanned the online news, however, I saw courageous reporters track the story throughout the night, steadfast anchors stay on air continuously to give viewers the latest updates and read the many tweets and posts of support and help from the journalism community, and I once again found pride in being a reporter. Despite the difficulty of covering such a disaster, there is no better time to be a journalist; we do our best work under pressure and when we are motivated to deliver the most accurate help to people in need.
In the aftermath of the bombings, I was also proud to be a Ramapo student. It wasn’t just members of the media that were doing good things in a time of crisis, but my peers were, too. Walking around the campus after class, I watched students taking time out of their busy days to stop and watch the news, educating themselves about what had happened. I heard people calling their friends and family members, breaking the news and sharing in mourning. I saw message after message of love and support and hope on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Tumblr, spreading positivity and shedding light on a dark day.
I am a reporter, I am a Ramapo student and I have never been prouder to be both.
That’s all the news for now-Nicole