- People with disabilities take issue with comments by the public
- Public transit services for Utahns with disabilities
- Utah’s employment resources for people with disabilities
This course was very valuable toward my career in journalism. From the assignments I have three published stories. This will enhance my portfolio. Our beat reporting taught me to keep my judgments detached. I allowed my opinion to influence a story and this mistake taught me a great deal.
The mistake came when I let a person I’d interviewed persuade my view in regard to a policy of a certain company. The policy was presented to me as being unfair. Upon hearing this I agreed and with this view in mind my first draft of the article clearly pointed to the unfairness. I turned in my first draft and my professor pointed out it might not be as unfair as I’d thought. I did more research and found this policy was enacted throughout every state in the country. I changed my attitude and corrected my story. I understand better the importance of not allowing people I interview to influence my judgments until I’ve looked into the facts. This was a worthwhile lesson. I’m grateful for the experience and for the person I interviewed.
From the beginning of this course to its completion I’ve seen my writing skills improve. For example, I’ve learned to tighten my sentences. They were too wordy prior to this course. This was one of the first of my mistakes our professor pointed out to me. It took time and practice to overcome. By my third story I had improved considerably. I neutralized this flaw from working on other of our assignments. We were given several articles throughout the course to read and reflect on. Three in particular we critically analyzed and gave feedback to the class. Having been made aware of my error these reading assignments helped me realize the tight sentences of other journalists. I incorporated the ones I felt could improve my skills.
In addition to writing we discussed other platforms of storytelling. Short videos and slideshows help impact a reader’s experience. We were given the challenge to make a slideshow for our final story. Learning to use the applications to create them adds versatility to my journalism skills. A slideshow or video gives readers a more in-depth experience and understanding. This additional learning gives me more resources to draw from in order to gain an audience.
Moreover, our course required that we involve ourselves in the community. I conversed with company directors, citizens, college students and my family members about people with disabilities. I gained a connection with individuals I’d not met before. I felt an emotional attachment which compelled me to write in the best manner possible so the public could better understand the issues I covered. I feel the overall experience this course gave me has strengthened my desire to become a journalist. I believe this attribute is essential to journalism.
I was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. I served a two-year mission in Tokyo, Japan, from 1984 to 1986 for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I also lived in Hawaii on the island of Oahu for two years, from 1987 to 1988. While attending BYU-Hawaii, I worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center as a Japanese-speaking tour guide. Later, I was promoted to assist the president of Japanese Sales & Marketing for the Center. I still speak Japanese well. I’m currently attending the University of Utah part-time as a senior majoring in communication with a minor in Japanese. I hope to begin working as a journalist after graduation. I’ve been married for 20 years with three children: Hannah, Frank and Mary. I landscape for a living on my own while attending school.
I enjoy music, mostly older stuff like Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Cat Stevens. But, I very much enjoy contemporary stuff because of my kids. Movies I like are “Goodfellas,” “Scarface,” “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” “Harold and Maude,” “Sling Blade,” “A Storm in the Summer,” “Dumb & Dumber,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Bridesmaids” and many others. Two of my favorite books are The Grand Inquisitor by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and The Stranger by Albert Camus.
I have recently started using Twitter and WordPress because of a course assignment. My goal is to build an audience to my work in journalism.