Day Eleven: Lessons well learned

By Lauren Kim, June 21, 2019

As a recent high school graduate who hadn’t previously considered pursuing a career in journalism, I wasn’t really sure what I’d gain from this program. 

Growing up in Silicon Valley, I previously believed in the misconception that the only acceptable career for me was in tech or STEM. But after visiting the Mercury News office today and hearing the superhero journalists talk about how they found their ways into journalism, what they do for the community and how they cope with the emotional trauma of reporting grim cases, it felt extremely enlightening. 

These people genuinely care about their jobs. They love what they do and dedicate most — if not all — of their time to producing news content for the people. We toured the different offices, met with some amazing Merc editors, listened in on a morning conference call and ate donuts! Something that really resonated with me was the camaraderie between the writers, specifically the crime reporters. It was important, they said, to be able to separate your personal matters from your story because there’s a job that needs to be done. 

We walked back to the Spartan Daily newsroom to find stacks and stacks of our freshly printed newspapers on the table. Gosh, the excitement in the room. Students tackled the stacks, seizing copies to take pictures of and read. Cries of happiness echoed the room; the validation of seeing two weeks-worth of hard work as a tangible thing in front of you is iconic. I kept a fresh copy to bring home and frame and gathered the other writers’ signatures on the second. I think Ruth even wanted to bring an entire stack home to share with her extended family and her track team. 

After our newspaper signing party, we gathered in a separate room to sign cards and make final announcements. But, the day wasn’t over yet. We still had our ice cream party, our awards ceremony, our picture time and most importantly, our goodbyes. It was a bittersweet day filled with laughter and good memories. What a great way to end a great two weeks.

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