- Utah Pride Festival unites community
- Safe-zones create inclusive environment, safe space to be in
- LGBT youth become homeless for many reasons
My time in this class has been interesting. We were assigned the LGBT beat for our stories this semester, which I thought was an amazing gift from the gods of reporting.
That was the unofficial beat at the Daily Utah Chronicle, the student newspaper I write for. Each chance I got to report on and share stories from the LGBTQ+ community, I did little backflips in my mind.
However, after a short talk with my editor at the Chrony, I was told that I should refrain from covering LGBTQ+ stories, because I would insert small editorializing thoughts and implications into my stories.
In short, I was more than thrilled to be required to cover the LGBTQ+ community. But looking back on things, it could have been a double-edged sword. I never got to experience something I wasn’t familiar with and I was never forced to do research before starting a story. I already had several connections, so I never got practice in contacting sources for my stories.
The issues the LGBTQ+ community faces are often described as the new “big war,” and are compared with racial and sexual equality struggles over the history of our country. Through the years, media have been more and more involved with covering aspects of this community as they fight for equal rights and to have their voices heard.
That is the job of the media, especially to us reporters. We are, first and foremost, storytellers. It is our duty to share our experiences with the world from an objective standpoint. In a way, our responsibilities as journalists are very similar to a camera’s duty of taking a picture. We capture an event in its entirety and without any editorial input.
I have my own political beliefs and also my own ethical and moral compass. This beat intertwined very closely with those, as I was often talking to and working with people who shared my beliefs in certain aspects of the world and how it should work.
It was difficult to remain objective; I won’t lie about that fact. From a very early age, I was involved with and an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. The issues the LGBTQ+ community faces are very dear to me, and it’s hard to keep yourself unbiased when you’re involved with something you feel a great passion for.
A funny story about working this particular beat is from a conversation I had with my editor at the Chrony. She told me she noticed that I had a problem with objectivity when it came to the LGBTQ+ community. That was hard for me to hear, and I was even put on an unofficial probation (mostly at my request) from writing about this community. As I said earlier, this proved to be a double-edged sword when it came time to cover the LGBTQ+ community for this class. I dealt with my personal thoughts and feelings by having a lot of different people read my story and tell me if it sounded 100 percent objective, without any implications or subliminal messages.
I learned a lot about my career goals and myself this semester. Through an event unrelated to this class, I discovered that my dream of being a sports reporter wasn’t as golden as I thought it to be. I’d much rather be a reporter on a beat for crime or ethical/moral issues, to share stories of people who need their stories shared.
When I first came to the University of Utah, I declared myself as a computer science student working toward a degree that emphasized on entertainment arts and engineering (video game design and computer animation).
It wasn’t until I got a job writing for the hockey club here (the Skatin’ Utes) that I decided journalism might be a better career path to follow. Once I got into that field, I totally fell in love. I loved being in the middle of something that was happening and being able to share with people my experience. I loved being a storyteller.
I don’t plan on graduating in the immediate future, as I’m only in my second year here. My ideal job is to be a reporter for the Boston Bruins hockey club in Boston, Massachusetts. If I work there, I would be more on the PR side, working closely with the team and coaches and putting out stories for the fans of the team.
If I don’t end up in that particular sports field, I would prefer to be doing beat writing for a local paper here, on any beat I can get. I’m on the lookout for internships and guest writing jobs.