Values in writing

Columns

Impact of journalistic writing on professional development

By Alexandra Lachine Editor-in-Chief

Over the last five months and my first semester in college, I have had the immense privilege of serving as Editor-in-Chief of a multi-award winning collegiate publication, The Schoolcraft Connection. In this time, I have met and worked alongside some of the most genuinely talented, imaginative and kind souls I have yet to meet in my 18 years of existence, as well as been mentored and advised by a professional unlike any I have known.

As fall semester turns to winter and others to come, I am resigning from this position due to an increasingly rigorous and demanding course load as I pursue my degree as a Registered Nurse. To you, loyal reader, I extend my most sincere gratitude for your feedback and support of this publication which will forever hold a dear spot in my heart.

To continue, I would like to share with you the impacts that the field of journalism (although collegiate) have had upon my development as a professional.

Journalism plays a crucial role in helping democracy function in society, though it is sometimes forgotten amid tumultuous partisan debate and the messy nature of the media. Anyone cannot help but recognize the vital role of the press to some degree upon stopping to examine journalistic success and its investigative, substantial civic impacts.

There are several examples of how pieces in journalism have made for a powerful reading list, the infamous Watergate scandal being one of the first that comes to mind.

As many journalistic outlets continue to struggle financially as continuously reported by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and the news media contracts as an industry, leaving many installations of government under-examined—there can be little doubt that many of society’s issues would be disregarded were it not for the most persistent, dedicated and courageous news professionals.

It takes professional reporters to initiate and follow-through on everything from interviews to requests of documented information, then turning the raw data and information into easily digestible knowledge for public consumption. Putting the hard facts into narrative story form or making it clear through visual means takes meticulous, creative work.

Understanding the role the journalist plays can be translated into any professional field. The journalist in their most noble sense is the beacon of truth and clarity to the public platform, and they are responsible
for honesty and reporting factual information for all to digest. Valuing honesty and transparency as a professional is an incredibly important skill to develop for anyone in any occupation.

The role of a journalist is also one managed by deadlines and a schedule that adheres to the laws of news as it breaks. Such timeliness and strict manner of execution of day to day tasks helps any professional develop a skill set most desirable by employers across a variety of fields, from medicine to business.
Communication is not without high regard on the lengthy list of professional developments heralded by journalism. It is the strong, fluid communication and interaction with others that must occur from initial planning meetings all the way to interacting with readers. Essentially, communication must exist at every single level of production, to complete the publication in the purest sense.

This skill is critical to soundly develop not only in terms of a career, but in every single aspect of life as well, from building relationships to buying a home. Psychological studies conducted by Saybrook University have also revealed the vitality of sound communication to disclosures, internal reflections and developing inquisition and advising skills. This has been proven true in my time as Editor of this professional, captivating production.

Time has a way of showing us the significance of the choices we make, which it already has in my specific case. The skills I’ve had the opportunity to develop further given my opportunity with The Connection will last a lifetime, and the professional relationships I’ve built will continue to impact me for years to come.