In times of breaking news

In times of breaking news

The two-week journalism intensive I am currently attending requires each student to write a blog post for the institute’s website. The guidelines are loose at best, and I was originally going to talk about the power of audiovisual stories, since we had just completed our video crash course.

Instead, here is what I submitted.

This blog post was originally going to talk about the power of video, since video is what we talked about today.

I was going to string poetic phrases together and try to capture how I think audio and visuals can sometimes be more impactful than words, how they add another dimension to a story.

Then I opened up Twitter.
Then I saw news of Manchester.

Some quick facts, as of 1 a.m. central time: An explosion outside an ending Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, left 22 people dead and 59 injured. Police are treating it as a terrorist attack and have confirmed the attacker was a suicide bomber. Transportation in the area has been closed.

Two hashtags have already sprung out of the attack: #missinginmanchester is to help reconnect those who may have gone missing in the confusion and #roomformanchester is for people to offer shelter to stranded concert-goers.

It’s times like this I remember why I want to be a journalist.

As I scroll through the twitter feeds of both U.S. and U.K. publications, refreshing for updates and new information, I feel a tug in my gut. I want to be there to help.

When news breaks, it’s the journalist’s job to get information to worried parents and friends. It’s our job to help protect the vulnerable by spreading the truth. It’s our job to make sure people know what is happening.

When news breaks, it’s our job to be there.

Being a journalist is more than fun feature pieces. It’s more than being paid in experiences or getting to travel the world. It means being first on the scene to crises like this. It means staying up all night waiting for the press conference, for the body count, for the number people can call.

Being a journalist means dedicating your career to serving other people.

Even as Manchester settles into investigation, it’s still our job to be there. To follow up and continually ask, ‘why?’” To see the story through. To provide information for frantic family; to facilitate truth.

Some quick facts, as of 1 a.m. central time:
22 dead, 59 injured.
Two hashtags, no transportation.
News is breaking. Be there.

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An Update in Three Chapters

heard

Well, have you?

 

Consider this your update. It’s really more of me acknowledging I have not written anything in three solid months.

It’s not that there hasn’t been anything to write about. Quite the opposite, actually. So here it is: A Comprehensive Update on the Life of Jordyn Pair.

You’re welcome, grandma.

 

Chapter 1: Finding my (radio) voice

When I took a radio class last semester, I never expected it to be anything more than an obligatory rounding-out of my journalism skills. I never expected to take a second class, and I certainly never anticipated eventually taking charge of three separate shows.

That’s right, folks, Jordyn Pair is on the air.

Getting my first radio show, Have You Heard? on the airwaves was a long process, mostly due to my lack of diligence. I didn’t know who to talk to or how to edit what they said. But now you can hear the unusual stories, passions, and experiences of Hillsdale College students at seven in the morning, provided you are in town. Otherwise, you have to wait for the Soundcloud file to make an appearance on the Facebook page.

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Although I also produce The Devil’s Advocate, and will soon be hosting The Collegian Week in Review, my first show, Have You Heard? is my fun project. I’m in journalism to tell the unknown stories, and, at Hillsdale, that’s the not-quite-newsworthy-but-still-cool students. There might not be a news hook, but there is passion.

And, in my case, passion fed passion.

Although I have worked with words for so long, learning to work with them in audio format has been a new challenge. These shows are a different beast than ones I have approached before, but it’s a beast I love tackling.

The radio shows I work on are creative. It’s not just straightforward journalism, and they’re more personalized. Although journalism does occasionally lend itself to flexing artistic muscles, the radio shows I work on are more like a time for me to play. It’s a chance to sit down in front of a microphone and just have fun.

Chapter 2: Small town girl, meet big city

I have a love affair with travelling, but am rarely able to.

Which is why I am absolutely stoked that I get to spend the summer in Washington, D.C. After I finish a  two-week stint in Iowa for a journalism intensive, I will immediately turn around, cram everything I own (plus my parents and me) into a car, and drive down to D.C.

Although I am unsure of what my journalism internship holds, I’m thrilled to be in a town where the main occupant is not corn.

Yes, I am sharing a room. Yes, I will be stuffing myself into pencil skirts all summer. Yes, I will absolutely love every second of it.

And if you have any “Top Ten Places to Visit in D.C.” listicles, send them my way.

 

Chapter 3: The one where I write a million headlines

I have spent every Wednesday of the last year in the Collegian office. Apparently, I am a glutton for pain and the AP Stylebook, because that is where I am spending every Wednesday of this coming year, too.

Dearest readers/fellow students/grandma, meet the Hillsdale Collegian’s next News Editor.

Being an editor is difficult work. It’s long hours and managing new writers and harassing old ones. But it’s work that I will find fulfilling, rewarding, and so, so worth it.

 

I know my second two chapters are so much shorter than my first, but it’s only because they haven’t been fully written yet. This is just a preview of me throwing myself into the deep end of the journalism pool.

Pen to paper. Sink or swim.