Well readers, this is it. My last post about the Washington Journalism and Media Conference 2017. Today was the last day, or last full day, and a lot happened.
Some of which I can sadly not say here. However, the experience was something that truly opened my eyes, and I hope that through action, I can convey my story anyways.
At the end of something like this, you have to sit for a minute and take it all in. Our schedule was so full there was no time to really stop and take in everything going on as a whole because, let’s face it, in a week like this, your eyes and ears are focused on all of the experiences we were getting.
Now, at 12:18 on Friday morning (Thursday night to me), I finally have a chance to sort of convey this experience into a tangible form.
At some point in my life journalism became an interest of mine, but getting a crash course on the subject was not necessarily within my grasp, for I believe a lot of people here. Yes, we all have our toes dipped in the waters of this profession, but not to a scale that allows us to truly choose this tremendous job as THE thing we want to do with our lives. Many people spoke to this point this week, claiming that they came to WJMC to see if this is what they really wanted to do.
I have to say that after this week, I am still not sure. I learned so much from these journalist who spoke to us that I now have to consider. It doesn’t mean the conference failed me, in fact, it helped me. At the end of this week, I am not meant to have my life figured out. Even if I did, life is life, and that plan could change. No, instead what I learned was valuable information that I can consider greatly when making crucial decisions about college in these next few short weeks.
I learned a lot about myself as well.
One of the things I took away from this week was that I could pursue a career in this incredible field without having to go necessarily a traditional way, or without having to enter mainstream journalism.
Yes, it is still a dream of mine to sit at the Morning Joe or Chuck Todd roundtable, but in learning about what it takes to be a journalist I saw a side to all of this where in some ways I give up being able to publicly have an opinion.
I have always been a very passionate person, especially in certain, maybe random topics that interest me. I think my instinct to advocate for those passions is too strong to have to live an essentially unbiased life.
This week caused me to look at what I knew, what I learned, and then make sense of this two together. I still have a lot of thinking to do, but I know this conference has put me on a stronger path to doing so.
The friends I have made here and the connections I have with my group are strong, and I think this comes from the fact that all of us, as inspiring journalist, have a need to learn and tell stories. It is this shared love that drives us all forward to become closer and learn one another’s stories. In this week we have learned how to work together as a team, and how to also support one another. I love my group, I love my teamates, and I am going to miss them greatly. #YellowGroupForever
At the end of the day, I know that WJMC has been a major stepping stone and director for me. I enjoyed my time here immensely, and I am sad to see it go by so quickly.
I will go forth from here with the knowledge that I have gained, into a future that is bright and waiting for me.
Here waiting for the whistle,
this is Isabel Naquin, signing off.
“Good night, and good luck.” – Edward R. Murrow