When first approaching the job shadow assignment, I wasn’t quite sure what direction to go as in terms of which specific profession I’d like to shadow. This was a particularly hard thing to approach for me as I am still undecided as in terms of a junior. After being taught in class for a day by Julian Emerson I was struck with how much passion he had shown for his profession and it was eye opening to see how educated he was with any comment, question, or concern the class had brought up for him. These reasons made me think that Julian would be a perfect person to shadow for this assignment.
It was very evident when I first showed up to shadow Julian that he was ready to take me under his wing and inform me with as much possible information to see if I could have any potential interest in becoming a writer for a newspaper. When asking Julian for some advice for becoming a journalist the first thing he strongly indicated was that you have to absolutely love your job. He noted that there was no way anyone could make it in the industry if they have little to no interest in journalism. This was very evident in Julian’s work ethic as he got offered a job at the Leader Telegram because he was dedicated to his craft of freelancing for years for a variety of different Wisconsin papers. Julian stated that when he initially started free lancing it was a struggle, he had to not only learn how to cover stories, interview people, and write proficiently, but he also mentioned that a large barrier he overcame was finding which stories would be of interest to the public.
Although I wasn’t able to see any face to face interviews or dramatic breaking stories during the shadow, I was able to catch a glimpse of what the environment of the newsroom is like. I did have the opportunity to hear some small over the phone interviews regarding a variety of topics from a lawsuit on a lumber corporation, and an interview on a potential homeless shelter being built for women and children. I saw this as a very interesting process as the interviews journalists had were much more informative than the brief interviews I did for the photo story project. Another aspect I found interesting when listening to these interviews was how personable and friendly a journalist can be with the interviewee depending on the story. It was surprising to hear them hold the conversation almost as if they were friends with each other.
This job shadow of a Journalist was very beneficial to me as an undecided student as it peaked my curiosity in some aspects of journalism, but it also made me realize that the profession might not be well suited for me.