In search of my niche
Rome wasn’t built in a day, at least that’s how the saying goes.
That analogy has haunted me for the past decade while I was transitioning from high school student into working adult.
When I found myself in my current position — writing for The Compass — I thought the saying was behind me, but instead it developed into a whole new meaning.
Community newspapers tend to employ only a handful of journalists, and each has to be wellrounded to cover a variety of topics.
Having a taste for everything is definitely a positive attribute to possess, but everyone has a preference, or a niche as I have been calling it.
I have thought about the many different articles I have written over the past four months, from breaking news to retirement stories, and I enjoy writing them.
Sure, I have stories that I shudder at merely the idea of covering, but isn’t that a part of every job?
Figuring out what types of stories give me goose bumps and butterflies has been a more challenging battle since almost everything on my radar since I began has been a new adventure.
Is it the result or the journey that may decide my niche? That is what I keep asking myself.
The journey, that is where I have earned my hypothetical spot with the real journalists … I think.
But as my time here grows, so do my interests.
I have t o s a y o n e o f my favourite topics has been municipal politics. Every time I have the opportunity to speak with a municipal official or member of council, I get a little excited.
I know it is a strange fascination, especially since many people probably couldn’t name all their own town councillors.
This September should be a great challenge for me since the local towns will be delivering municipal gold during the upcoming elections.
A neighbour who reads the paper every week told my dad that I have the potential to “cause waves” this fall because of my detail to municipal politics and events.
The fact that someone I barely know has been recognizing my municipal-specific work speaks volumes, and has led me to believe that may be my niche.
But, again, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it may take some time to determine for sure if that’s where I thrive.
Ask me again on Sept. 25 when elections are over because that will be my true test.
Melissa Jenkins is a reporter/photographer with The Compass. She can be reached by email