Lookout Below: Job shadow is a delight - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Lookout Below: Job shadow is a delight

MLive in Ann Arbor

Mallory Stiles of The Lookout enjoyed a job shadowing experience at the Ann Arbor News on May 8. Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Associate Editor

On Monday, May 8, I job shadowed at The Ann Arbor News and left there more passionate than I have ever been about journalism.

I have wanted to be a journalist since I was 14. There has been a lot of ups and downs, but I press on because I know you have to go through being bad to get to get good at anything. 

In that newsroom, I got a glimpse of the future where my dream of being a real reporter actually came true.

I have gotten close to calling it quits a few times this semester out of pure exhaustion, but the eight hours on Monday breathed new life into me.  

I got to the building at 6:55 a.m. and waited outside the front door. There was a lot of glass and I was a little nervous after having an hour drive to stress.

I was paired with Public Safety Reporter Jordyn Pair. For those who don’t know, a public safety reporter is someone who is assigned to cover a police department for newsworthy events.

While she was incredibly kind via email, I know I have a strong personality and am always a little apprehensive about first meet-and-greets.

She met me at the door with a welcoming smile that said I had absolutely nothing to worry about. While I can’t tell you all of the neat things I got to see, I will say it was really, really cool from the second we sat down at her desk.

Journalists are cool people in general, but Jordyn set a new bar.

You could say I have had my day in court, because I was there twice during our eight-hour shift. Jordyn also spent a great deal of time showing me certain contact methods and means of gathering information. It was wonderful.

I also met Samuel Dodge and Ryan Stanton, two other well-seasoned, full-time reporters, who answered every random question I could think of.

The conversation quickly turned to the struggles, the process and our overall mission as journalists, which satisfied my soul in a way I didn’t even know was possible.

I said “Just one more question …” at least one thousand times.

The part that had me on the very edge of my seat was when I asked THE EDITOR, John Counts, to read and critique a piece of mine. He quickly said yes and didn’t hesitate to give me great advice.

He had some mixed feelings about the piece. He was honest about what worked and what didn’t, what to take out or move, where to put it and why.

While every part of the day truly did teach me something, whether it was sites I can use to research or how to edit a YouTube short, John looking over my piece was the part that left me most motivated/ That is because I felt like he was subtly, and tactfully, challenging me to step it up.

I like a challenge.  

If it means that I get back to a room like that, where I can do this thing, with people like them, I will practice until every piece I write has no other choice but to be perfect.

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