Liberty North High School: Where it all began

I fell in love with journalism when I randomly decided to audition for the school’s broadcasting class my freshman year of high school. I made it in, and I was sold. We weren’t putting out high quality work as freshmen, but I learned how to edit video, anchor, write scripts, and put together a decent short story.

Our freshmen were at the junior high, so when I moved up to the high school sophomore year and entered the advanced broadcasting class my mind was blown. I furthered my story making skills and eventually became assistant executive producer of KLPS Channel 18, our districts television station.

I helped rewrite the entire format of our class and make the broadcast more interesting. I was producing packages, building basic graphics, running audio and teleprompter, running the switcher during live shows, and directing the morning broadcast. We went live to the school every morning and I eventually became the writer and anchor of the show.

I also had the incredible opportunity to work on and even direct live broadcasts of district sporting events. I got to enter a semi-professional field under the direction of some talented adults. I even received the opportunity to work some collegiate games through that experience.

I think it was the national conventions I attended and competed at that made me realize journalism was going to be a lifelong thing for me. I attended the JEA/NSPA conventions in San Antonio and Boston. I got to learn a lot of cutting edge things and meet professionals who were the top of their field. That only fueled my passion. I realized that I was very fortunate to come from the program I did and way ready to carry that over to my next step in life.

I decided I wanted to pursue broadcast in college and produce news. It’s changed a little since then, but I still love what I do.

On to bigger things

I am currently a student at the University of Missouri in Columbia. I study convergence journalism with an emphasis in emerging area, and am also pursuing a dual degree in political science.

Being a convergence journalism student provides me with a really unique and well-rounded experience and gives me a different perspective than most journalism students have. I have learned how to tell stories in full digital packages that include video, audio, written articles, infographics and social elements. I am learning what platforms tell which story the best and how to execute that well. I get a lot of one-on-one with professors who act as my editors as well as working in teams of students to create these packages. My classes not only provide me with reporting skills, but management skills as well. I have had to learn how to manage teams of reporters and shape their stories. It has been a good lesson in learning the strengths of others and how that lends to the strengths of a story. An important part of my education is learning how to engage audiences and I have even worked on branding projects for the Missourian, the Columbia newspaper run by the journalism school.

What has become important to me through my education so far is the people. The people whose stories I tell have put a part of them in my hands, and I get to do something incredible with that. In return, I want to make sure their stories are heard and design content that engages audiences.

I began hosting a blog in the spring of 2016 for one of my convergence courses. If you would like to learn more about me as a person, feel free to give it a read at the link below.

Life is Like Camp