Nichole Butters

MY STORIES: 

MY BLOG: 

8FLDOxegdzrP8gFfRRnpTNfStkClCy4MEf5Knh7qwaYBeing assigned to the aging beat this semester has been an incredible journey. When we were first introduced to this topic, I definitely had my doubts. I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to connect with my sources and didn’t know much about their community. I realize now that the aging beat is a niche topic in journalism that needs to be covered more.

As I studied throughout the course of this semester, I realized that journalists tend to overlook this demographic. It is rare to find an article on aging-related topics. It was a great experience to explore this community and learn more about people and issues. I hope that covering this beat will shed light on their life, their story, and their journey.

Journalists should be determined to cover all communities and make an effort to tell all sides of the story. We truly have so much to learn from the aging generation. As Peter Hebertson, information and referral program manager of Salt Lake County Aging and Adult Services, related about his aging neighbor, “We still have young thoughts.”

It is easy for someone from my generation to “sensationalize” an older adult if they surpass our minimal expectations of seniors. We learned again and again this semester, either in class or out in the field conducting research and interviews, that their generation thrives. They have amazing life experiences and are strong, healthy and have so much to offer to our community.

I realized about halfway through the semester that I enjoyed, and actually preferred, being assigned to this beat. I love taking the time exploring different aspects of aging, and finding the beauty in the inevitable. I’ve always been drawn to stories of triumph and determination, and that’s what I’ve been able to find over and over again through my work. What an amazing journey this has been.

Another thing I’ve learned through trial and error is that writing is truly an art. Being an “excellent communicator” means to tell the story, to show the readers what you want them to see, and not just report it. Including resources in an article helps increase the level of excellence, as well as images and powerful quotes that help reiterate the focus of the story.

I’ve learned that simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication. I tend to over explain certain aspects of my writing, but now realize that in a professional journalism setting, you have to be concise and always accurate.

Before this semester, I had discounted the importance of the aging generation, thinking that it really had nothing to do with me while I’m still young and in college. What I realize now is that it has everything to do with me. We are the future older adults, and we have to prepare for that now. And from what I’ve heard, getting older has its advantages and joys in living life to its fullest.

ABOUT ME: 

I have always had a passion for writing. When I was little I would always enter in “Reflections” contests to submit my stories and artwork, which sometimes ended up going to regional and state competitions. I loved the fact that others could read and experience something that I had been able to share.

That passion segued into my high school years, where I was a reporter and editor of The Crusader, our high school newspaper at Granger High in Salt Lake City. It was then that I truly fell in love with journalism. I loved conducting interviews, and loved the positive reaction when others would see their quote or picture published in the newspaper. I loved seeing a reaction to my work, and loved the challenge of writing a captivating article. That’s when I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in journalism.

Throughout my time in college I have followed this dream. I graduated with my Associates Degree of Science in Sociology from Salt Lake Community College, because I love the human aspect of our community, which directly ties into journalism. After transferring to the University of Utah I decided to major in communication with an emphasis on broadcast journalism. I hope to become a journalist or reporter after graduating, and be able to inspire many people with the written word.