words from the print

Occasionally I get a chance to write for my hometown paper. Last week I got in the mix for edits. Enjoy a little Habersham flare, world.

“Learning from the best” Really.
Year one down. I’ve finished up my Freshman year at Georgia State University, and more importantly, wrestled an A in my first journalism class. The first of many that is. Next semester already has countless hours of writing slated, not to mention there will be other classes that I have to pretend to care about outside of my major. Luckily though, this summer I’ve been reminded of why I write.
Last week I curiously found myself thumbing through the archives that sit in the very middle of our offices here at The Northeast Georgian. Newspapers have always fascinated me. Shelved are large binders of issue upon issue of our paper. Hard copies of people’s stories from last month and from decades ago. As I ran my index finger along those long red spines I landed on an aged binder. This one was brown and faded and a small patch of red, fraying leather read, Tri-County Advertiser, 1939-40. I immediately pulled it off the shelf and began to gawk at the vintage ads lining the pages and the stories of local people from my home just 80 years earlier. After living in Atlanta for a year, I’ve come to realize this honest media written for the community is hard to come by.
Juliet Eilperin of the Washington Post was privileged and trusted enough to be one of the journalists who covered Beau Biden’s funeral this week. His death was a tragedy that broke down partisanship and united the country in sorrow. In her review of that experience June 8 she said, “It [coverage] can provide comfort to an individual’s most intimate friends and family while simultaneously conveying that same person’s significance to total strangers.” Eilperin understands what true journalism looks like, much like my co-workers.
As an aspiring journalist it is a privilege to work with people who don’t get caught in the noise that media can sometimes be. They write for truth and to serve the community. When I’m back writing in Atlanta I’ll be a better journalist because of what I learned here in Cornelia. I understand that when people allow you into the most intimate moments of their lives, when they allow you to capture both the triumph and the tragedy- that’s both the allure and responsibility of journalism. And it is to be handled with care.
Originally published in The Northeast Georgian June 10, 2015.

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