Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reality check

As the minute hand inched closer to 6 p.m., I felt a general sense of urgency laced with a twinge of panic in my gut. I think most of my cohorts would agree.
I can't remember the last time I was on such a strict deadline or even the last time I wrote a news story. Today's press conference with Leonard Downie Jr. was certainly a reality check.
As a newspaper and yearbook adviser, I have high expectations for my students. I expect them to perform their best and on deadline. My, how I have forgotten what that is like.
My experience today reminded me how much I enjoy reporting and writing. Despite the stress that came with the time crunch, covering the press conference was fun. It also challenged me. If I expect my students to report and write well, should I not practice those disciplines myself so I can share effective and specific feedback? I believe you become a better writer through practice, and after today, I realized I could use the practice. So perhaps I'll dust off that reporter's notebook.
Jamie Ray
Vista Ridge High School
Cedar Park, Texas


  1. No kidding-panic set in the pit of my stomach like never before. I need to practice as well.

  2. I really enjoyed listening to Mr. Leonard Downie Jr. and his views on journalism.
    I was not prepared for the technology challenges I faced with the MACs.
    I knew this assignment was going to be hard for me, but I had no idea how bad my Mac computer skills are.... I am defiantly a PC person and need to bring my Dell to work on projects. Sorry Mac lovers …. This girl is all PC!

    Bracinda Blum
    Woodbine High School
    Woodbine, Iowa

  3. I too have a newfound appreciation for what I put my students through when I ask them to complete similar assignments and when I ask them to deal with unfamiliar technology. How easy it is to forget what it's like to be in their shoes. I'm going to offer them more reporting strategies and tips for handling the pressure. Today was stressful, sure; but I also found meeting the challenge head-on energizing. It reminded me of what I love most about journalism - the thrill of the chase and that sense of accomplishment at capturing just the right angle for a story.