April 11, 2013 § Leave a comment
I was branded the title of “the Reporter” before I had even written a single sentence. When I was a girl, my mom would come home from the grocery store, having left me in the care of my older brother, Tim, and expecting a full, but unsolicited, report. While she was gone, I’d jot detailed mental notes of everything Tim did (I had always assumed that was the job of a little sister). My reports at the time were full of hot news items including, “Mom, Tim wouldn’t play Barbies with me!” which was obviously an act of treason in my eyes. Once, while on a road trip, I was scolded for reporting to the front seat everything that Tim did. I had gone so far as to let Mom and Dad know that Tim was, in fact, breathing. Their response — “Yeah Amanda, he’s gonna to have to do that.” Fortunately, my days of tattletale reporting have come to an end.
Almost two decades later, maybe older but just as nosy, my nickname remains “the Reporter” among my friends and family. Now a woman, armed with a pen (or iPad these days) and an invaluable education from one of the best journalism schools in the country, the University of Missouri School of Journalism, my reporting and writing have grown up with me. I have recognized and gained respect for the power of words and the stories they join together to form.
As a journalist, every story I write has an effect on someone. As a writer, every story I write has an effect on me. I choose each word as precisely as a surgeon makes the first cut. Whether it is a short brief or a feature length profile, a headline or a diary entry, each piece deserves care and diligence (on deadline, of course).
I’ve maintained the thirst for knowledge that I had as a girl (not to worry, my topics of choice have matured as well. Tattling isn’t nearly as rewarding anymore), and I find knowledge not only through reporting, but in my writing too. It is a vicious circle that always keeps me looking for the next story.