Monday, November 21, 2011

Journalism is a Lifestyle, Not Just a Major

   So I thought I'd give a little update on what I've been up to lately in the journalism world (aka Bergeron).  Last Tuesday, our staff put out our 8th issue out of 9 total.  I can't believe it's almost over!  It was our best issue yet - and I'm not just saying that because I happened to have a front-page article.  We truly worked our butts off on this issue and produced a great product.
   The issue contained one of the biggest articles I've ever worked on/written.  It involved 8 interviews, a survey, and 17 pages of quotes (single-spaced).  I wrote it about studying abroad and some of the different aspects that accompany it - culture shock, drinking culture, making friends, and difficulty of classes.  It was very interesting to both write and report.  At one point, I was concerned for the accuracy of the story because I was not sure some of my sources were being completely truthful with me about some parts of their stories.  However, it worked out because the statistics were able to balance out what people said.  I ended up having a lot more information than I needed, so I had plenty to work with while I wrote.  The hardest part of writing my story was actually weaving all the different parts together.  I'm really proud of the way it came out and SO excited it landed on the front page!
   The issue as a whole was really well-balanced and the stories were expertly reported.  It was the best product we've produced so far.  I'm bringing about four copies home during Thanksgiving break to show... well, everyone!
Me with this week's issue of The Defender!

   Now, you may wonder what we Defender staffers do every Sunday before an issue is printed.  Everyone spends from 10 a.m. until about 5 p.m. in Bergeron laying out the paper, toning pictures, editing pages, listening to Pandora ambient music station and more.  Time flies by as each page is completed, looked over, edited, corrected on screen, and printed for the managing and executive editors to edit after everyone else has gone home.  The best part is we get Leonardo's pizza at 3 p.m.  We have a deal with Leonardo's that if we put an ad in our paper, we get free pizza.  By that time, everyone is usually done with the first drafts of his or her pages, and the pages are printed and edited while everyone eats pizza.   It's a very long, but worthwhile day.  I can't help but say Defender has become my life during this semester, which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing.  I genuinely love writing and reporting stories, and working on The Defender has increased this love tenfold.
   If you have any questions about working on The Defender or the journalism in general, please don't hesitate to contact me via email (, Twitter (@LittleLizzie33) or Formspring (lizmurray3).

To view this week's issue of The Defender online, click here.
To view an online PDF of this week's issue, click here.

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