May 24, 2013

college journalism: getting involved

I had always had this idea that a school's newspaper was the best representation of a school's journalism department. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like reading the info packets with all the statistics and numbers they throw at me, but even I know that's a little altered. A school's paper, on the other hand, isn't. If it sucks, it sucks. If it doesn't, it doesn't. There's no way to hide if a newspaper isn't well written or well executed.

So, when I visited Quinnipiac (and four other colleges) last February, the first thing I made sure to do was pick up a copy of their school newspaper. Surprisingly, (or not surprisingly), The Quinnipiac Chronicle was a clear winner. With top-notch layout, hard-hitting news stories and the proper interaction with students through their Opinion, Interaction and Arts and Life sections, I fell in love with Quinnipiac even more than I already had. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that during the first week of school at the Involvement Fair, I signed up for the Chronicle. I had never anticipated it becoming such an important aspect of my life at school. After going to the first meeting, the News Editor asked if I had any story ideas, yada yada yada, and the following Wednesday, my name was on the front page.

There began my obsession with the Chronicle and college journalism. Shortly after, I joined HerCampus Quinnipiac and fell in love with writing media/arts/fashion pieces. It was here that I began to change my writing style and preferences. I later got offered a position as Social Media Director for my HC chapter, which impacted my outlook on journalism entirely.  In March, the Chronicle and Quinnipiac Student Media sent me to NYC for a conference - the College Media Association's annual event. It was three days of amazing speeches, networking and private media tours, and also one of my highlights of freshman year. At this point, I met phenomenal professionals in the industry, and got tips on how to improve not only my writing for both the Chronicle and HerCampus, but also my social media skills for my position for HerCampus.

It's so weird that I always tried to separate the two organizations because they were in no way linked, yet my blog post and my freshman year timeline intertwines them so much. I guess they both helped me realize what I loved to do, and both helped me improve in the other. Although I was Social Media Director for HC, when Executive Board applications came around for Chronicle, I applied as a section editor rather than one for social media - I did it for HerCampus but I didn't realize how much I liked it, or how big of an influence it would have on me. I entered my interview for E-Board wanting one position, and left wanting an entirely different one, and so I was named the Social Media Coordinator for the Chronicle a couple weeks after.

I guess the moral of this entire post is to encourage you to get involved and keep an open mind always. Actually no, this post was supposed to let you know of my good news, but I swear it's going to come!!!

Last night, I was just scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw a post from the Chronicle congratulation all the winners from the Society of Professional Journalists awards ceremony yesterday afternoon. I clicked it curious as to who won, ready to congratulate my fellow Chronicle-rs. That is, until I saw my name. I was utterly confused and surprised to say the least. After a quick message to the Managing Editor who went to the ceremony, I was informed that the Editor-in-Chief submitted one of my pieces - you can read it here - under the "General" category and I WON FIRST PLACE! I literally had no clue! But I'm super happy to announce it, so motivated to keep writing, and so excited to see what else I can do now! The Quinnipiac Chronicle won 18 awards (therefore, I attest to my original statement - good newspaper = good journalism dep't) and I was lucky enough to be one of them (and the only freshman on the list)!

This news just put me in an awesome mood today, so when I got an email from the HerCampus Blogger Network saying they loved my blog and accepted me as part of the network, I was overjoyed! I never expected to be accepted and kind of applied just to say I tried, so the email caught me entirely off-guard. I'm so excited to announce that I'm officially part of the HCBN, so you'll see some changes to my blog - like that lovely logo over there --->.

Thanks for reading my (long) rant about how lucky I am and how great college journalism is. Seriously future freshman, get involved! Happy Friday, thanks for reading another page in The Caro Diaries..

3 comments:

  1. I'm the campus correspondent for Vanderbilt HC!!!! I love that you're so involved- it's a great organization and has helped me so much with my writing!! And it looks great on a resume :)

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