There are many unique stories to be toldCATHERINE VAUGHT: I wouldn’t consider myself a shy person, but I’m not one to start up conversations with strangers. And I quickly learned that that is a first-class problem in the journalism world.
By: Catherine Vaught, Duluth Budgeteer News
I wouldn’t consider myself a shy person, but I’m not one to start up conversations with strangers. And I quickly learned that that is a first-class problem in the journalism world.
With a lack of the mastery of small talk, it was a challenge for me to walk up to complete strangers and ask for quotes or take candid shots of them. But over this 10-week internship, I’ve put my small-talk abilities to the test and have widened my comfort zone.
Throughout my experience with the Budgeteer, it became clear to me that there were benefits to becoming a more outgoing, less introverted person. One of these rewards ended up being all the new faces I encountered. I’ve spoken with a wide range of people from different organizations, as well as world travelers, kids and local artists.
Even though all of these people came from different walks of life, I realized that they all shared something in common. Every person has a unique story to tell, but oftentimes we are too tuned into our own lives to learn about others. I had no idea that Duluthians had such amazing stories to share — but they do.
Besides this, I didn’t realize how much stuff actually happens in our city on a daily basis. There’s always a gathering or a celebration or hundreds of people enjoying Canal Park.
From a journalism standpoint, this is what makes me excited to pursue it as a career. The fact that there is never a dull moment in this line of work means that I’ll never be bored. There are always stories to be told and people to learn about.
I often think people are concerned about jobs becoming obsolete and no longer needed. Of course, education and medicine will always be needed. Our children need to be taught and people need to be treated.
But, contrary to popular belief, journalism isn’t going anywhere, either. People will always need to be informed, and though journalism may be altered digitally as the years go on, writing will always be relevant.
That is why I am thankful that through the Pohlad Family Foundation, the Minnesota Newspaper Association, and the Budgeteer, I was able to have this experience as an aspiring journalist.
Though this internship was a big commitment, it was well worth spending my summer in an office with only a glimpse of the outside world by a window through the printing room.
But in all seriousness, I never thought that I’d have such tangible evidence of a summer well-spent. With all of these stories that will now find their home in my portfolio, I can’t imagine my summer going any differently.
Now I’m entering my senior year at Duluth East High School and looking forward to writing more for the school newspaper. But more important, I’m looking forward to where my experiences lead me after that.