When something meaningful happens in my life, I think, “Is this a story?” I know this sounds like something a brown nosing journalism student would say, but it’s true. It’s only happened in about the last year, as I’ve truly begun to see myself as a professional journalist and believe that I could do this with my life.
When I read our first reading assignment in “Telling True Stories,” I thought about the way I decide if something is a story. I’ve often heard some of my favorite directors say they see an event in the news or read a story and think, “Is this a movie?”
I think journalists have it easier than directors. We are the original storytellers. We’re the ones who take an emotion, an observation and turn it into truth before anyone else. The most difficult part of our job is deciding how to tell the story. Sometimes, we have so much information that starting the story is the hardest part. This past spring, I wrote a story about a Mizzou student whose family’s story involved so many dimensions and details. I didn’t know where to start with the story, which caused me more stress and panic than I thought a story ever would in my college career. This semester, I’ve been given the chance to look at the same story again, knowing everything I know about the story and those involved. I’ve been given the opportunity to “crystallize the point of the story,” as Mark Kramer mentions in “Telling True Stories.”
So, as I begin this new semester with its challenges and complicated dimensions of its own, I make it my goal to take a story personally and consider all its angles.