Ryan McDonald

MY STORIES:

Photo by Andee McDonald


MY BLOG:

Even though I basically live in the same city as the people whom I was able to associate with this semester, I was most struck by how different my life is from many of their lives. Often times we think of people being in a different culture if they live in a different state or country, but it’s amazing how many different cultures there are right in Salt Lake City.

Because of this, I gained a different perspective on what a community is. Many people whom I have talked to during the semester have said that creating a universal understanding of community is a big challenge in the nonprofit organization world, and I can see why. The American way of life is in many respects very different from the way of life that many of these people are accustomed to, so I feel that it is very difficult to define a community by geography. Rather, I now feel that a big part of what makes a community is the commonalities that people share.

In having this opportunity this semester, I not only learned about different people, but I learned more about what a career in journalism might be like. In a way, those two things are polar opposites. Journalism as a business and as a career is very unattractive right now, but having the opportunity to be involved in people’s lives on a more intimate basis like I have had this semester is very appealing to me. Because I wanted to get to know people on a more personal basis, it was difficult at times to remain objective. It wasn’t so difficult in writing the stories, but it was difficult to remain objective when it related to what kinds of questions I wanted to ask different people.

I think many journalists desire to “get dirt” on people, but I definitely learned that I don’t want to make that my primary objective. Rather, I like to tell stories that are uplifting and inspiring. As stated before, I like having the opportunity to build relationships with people and find the good in them. Because of this, one challenge for me as I make a career out of this craft will be having the willingness to write the stories that bring light to problematic issues rather than just the ones that are uplifting.

As a religious person, I had many thoughts throughout the semester about how my faith relates to different people in society. One of my core beliefs is that there is a God and that He loves each of us as His children beyond measure. As I met people from all over the world this semester, that belief rang true. They may not believe the same things I do as it relates to faith, but the beliefs that I have of why each of us is even here in the first place grew stronger.

Throughout this semester, many questions have been raised in my mind about the future of the journalism profession. I still have my questions and my fears about relying on it for my livelihood, but having opportunities to rub shoulders with the types of people that I have associated with this semester make me realize that I want journalism to continue to be an integral part of my life.

ABOUT ME:

When I was 2 years old, my family was watching a basketball game. Everybody thought I was just staring at the screen, but I suddenly blurted out, “There’s Vlade Divac.” He was playing in the game as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.

That knowledge of sports has continued throughout my life, and as I’ve gotten older, my passion for athletic competition has increased. Combined with a love and a skill of writing, I hope to make a living being involved in sports media. I particularly enjoy writing, though having the opportunity to communicate sports through any medium makes me happy.

I am currently about halfway finished with my bachelor’s degree, majoring in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism. Even though I attend the University of Utah, I currently serve as the editor-in-chief of The Globe newspaper at Salt Lake Community College. In addition, I am a sportswriter at the Daily Utah Chronicle where I am the gymnastics beat writer. I love journalism!