During my four years of working at IU student media, I can say I’ve done it all. I’ve written stories, taken photos, created video, designed pages, copy edited and helped in a redesign of the entire newspaper. It’s kept me busy, but it was always worth the experience.
Even though it isn’t required for any journalism student to get involved at the Indiana Daily Student, Inside Magazine, or the Arbutus, I dived in from the start of my freshmen year. I was enthusiastic and eager to report as much as I could. It was extremely scary not knowing anyone in the newsroom at first, but if you’re brave enough to stick around, it won’t take long before you know everyone.
The editors love freshmen that push to get their foot in the door. If you prove that you can produce quality work, the editors will notice that, and give you high priority assignments in the future. During my freshmen year, there was a breaking news story one afternoon, and I was called to do it. I didn’t want to say no, even though I was only free for about four hours, so I took the assignment, and my hard work paid off. The next day I had my first front page byline.
It’s moments like that, that make the IDS a great place to work. You make great friends, earn plenty of good stuff for your portfolio, and have the freedom to try new things. The hands-on experience is something you can’t always get in the classroom or on your own time. I have plenty of other moments from my time there that I will always remember, and friends that I’ll stay in touch with long after graduation.
The advisors are also a wonderful resource that other students might not have. They’re always willing to help you, write letters of recommendation, give you advice or just hand out candy when you’re having a bad day.
I’m graduating in May with no regrets about my time with student media. I feel like I was able to do everything I wanted to, and I’m a better journalist because of my time there. It’s a learning lab just waiting for new students to take advantage of it.