The newspaper has improved my writing skills

Donovan Wilson Reporter

Donovan Wilson — Well, this is it. The end of four years as a journalism major, one as a reporter for the Southern News and a lifetime worth of memories. I do not want to spend all this time on mushy moments, memories, and thank you’s. Instead, I want to encourage involvement. 

The journalism program at southern is an absolutely incredible involvement, but nothing could have prepared me more for real life than the southern news has. In a class, by design, a lot of what you experience is what the teacher says and what you do. However, at the southern news, you do not just listen and produce work, you network.  

Networking is one of the most difficult things to do as a young person transitioning into real life because we spend our whole lives learning how to listen and now it is time to make others listen to us and help us produce the results we need. This time, it is not just team members working towards the same goals, often made up of people who owe you nothing and do not care if you sink or swim. 

That first angry subject who feels they were presented incorrectly in a story or that first person who treats you like your interview is not worth their time is going to burn. It will crush you to feel like everything you have worked for might not work out. Obviously, that is not true, this is just one of many rejections one goes through in life, but know that it is not the end. However, in that moment, it is going to feel like it is. You may question going in the direction that you have, I know I did. 

However, I am more than happy that I learned lessons like this at the Southern News, surrounded by people all going through the same things. A lot of starting your career is also finding yourself and navigating a lot of intense emotions. Especially at a newspaper – we are people’s most harshest critics so imagine how much we dig ourselves into. 

If there is one thing I could leave to a future generation of reporters and students, it is to make sure you get involved. College can teach you a lot of things from a lot of books but nothing can teach you the way experience can. The Southern news is a family full of nothing but tough love – the work may knock you down and out but there will always be somebody to grab your hand and pull you back up again. 

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