In search of my niche

The Compass - - CLASSIFIED -

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

at melissa.jenk­

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