Happy National Newspaper Week

Not a 9-5er, but joy in endless work

Editor%2FReporter+Kim+McDarison

Editor/Reporter Kim McDarison

Kim McDarison, Contributor

Editors today, like those in many professions, face the challenges of a complex and fast-changing world, but, in our case, along with the reporters who gather the news, we get to document events, learn about solutions, and educate the public about how their contemporaries are facing those challenges. It’s a huge responsibility, as journalism is meant to be: we are the watchdogs and timekeepers of the day. For many, after they complete their formal education, we are their best source for continued learning, and in an ever-changing world, that would seem a prerequisite for an informed and engaged citizenry.  

Some changes in journalism have elevated our ability to reach the public: technology has brought down what once were barriers to publishing. New platforms have become accepted conduits through which to transport news. Our ability to set journalistic standards, and hold to them, has become evermore important, as many more voices enter the communication marketplace. Public engagement with the public discourse is good, dare I say essential, but consumers of news must be able to distinguish the difference between those offering opinion and citizen commentary and those who understand their responsibility as trained journalistic standard bearers. 

Journalism was never a 9-5er, and the need for those hungry to bring forth the news is great. The hours are long, the pay is low, but for those of us who understand and embrace the huge need for public understanding and conversation as we face the world’s challenges, there is joy in an endless opportunity to work. 

So pick up your sword (keyboard), and face your windmills (as did Don Quixote), and remember that Clark Kent, whose alter-ego is the very symbol of truth and justice, spent most of his time as a newsman. 

After school, awaiting you as a journalist is a life of challenge, engagement, it’s a window into the innermost workings of society and governance to which not everyone can attest, though through you, everyone can have a deeper understanding and exposure. 

Kindle that needs to bear witness, and learn to prioritize and organize your time, and make friends with a mechanic because we journalists, it seems, at least not perhaps until later in life, often do not enjoy the benefits of having a fully functioning car. 

Kim McDarison

Editor/Reporter

FortAtkinsonOnline.com

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