Establishing my identity as a community journalist
After my first column was published June 4 alongside my photo, I was no longer just a name on a page. I had an identity in the newspaper world.
I was officially viewed as someone with answers, someone that could be trusted in the eyes of the public.
With that identity came a large amount of responsibility.
I could no longer walk down the street without someone recognizing me, mentioning they read my articles or that they had a great story for me to follow up on. People spoke to me as if they have known me for years, although sometimes we met only moments before.
The responsibility on my shoulders was greater than I imagined, but I continued to take my job in stride.
Whenever I completed an article, I would think of how readers would react to it and how it would help shape me as a budding journalist.
I always second-guess myself. As soon as I finish an article, I read it. I read it again. Then I read it a third time and ask myself if it’s good enough and will people enjoy it.
Those articles will continue to define me more elaborately each and every week.
I still struggle with the identity that this job has created for me, but I am doing my best to keep up with it and maintain a relationship with it.
It can be difficult to find the balance between what I am and who I am.
• Melissa the impartial reporter, thorough journalist and developing photographer at The Compass or;
• Melissa the outspoken and opinionated, yet often annoying, Carbonear resident.
Since taking on my role, I have learned a valuable lesson; I cannot find the balance between what I am and who I am because they are onein-the-same.
This is something I will carry with me throughout my career, knowing that what I do and don’t do every day will build my character and mould my identity, and that scares me.
The hardest part is knowing anything can change who I am in the eyes of my readers, but it will hopefully help me grow into a better journalist. Melissa is a reporter/photographer at
The Compass Newspaper