My name is Tierney Reardon. This will be my third year in journalism. In my first year, I wrote as a staff writer for the features section. The following year, I co-edited and wrote for the news section and this year I am writing for and editing the opinion section. I decided to be a journalist in order to both find out more about it as a possible career path and to improve my writing.
I would say my main strengths are my organizational skills. Staying organized has helped me from the beginning of my time in journalism and is something I have naturally, but have developed over time, especially with the increase in school assignments each year. I was able to send interview request forms in time and keep deadlines. This skill set helped me even more last year when I co-edited the news section. My co-editor and I brainstormed article ideas for ourselves and the staff writers in our section. We had to make sure that everyone was getting articles and any accompanying photos in on time and that we both edited the articles promptly so that the staff writers could make any necessary changes before we placed their articles in the paper. This year, as the opinion section editor I have similar responsibilities, though there are several differences. Instead of managing photos in the section, I have to cut out headshots and manage the contributed parts of the section. Since the opinion writers come up with their own story ideas, I only have to approve ideas rather than think of them on my own. Though my writing has improved, I think it has improved as a result of gaining more experience and having my writing consistently edited.
Some of my burning questions are about what our society will look like by the time I’m starting my career and where I will fit in. I stay up at night thinking about what I can do to reach my goals and if I am doing enough to attain them. If I could interview anyone about anything, I would choose the type of person who has either made an impact in the lives around them or can offer a fresh perspective to a topic. I would focus on people who showed strength in their decisions. Though of course interviewing big names like Michelle Obama, Jane Goodall, Bill Nye and Alan Alda would be incredible, I would also want to find the unsung heros. Stories about overlooked details and people who the public had never heard of often become the most important. I would ask what formed each person into who they are today, how they chose their careers and what made them grow as people. I would ask what their goals are for the future. I hope I will eventually be writing about issues that are impacting the people in the surrounding communities and the people involved in them. The stories of everyday people are something I find to be very important.