Girl on Fire: Keeping up with the news

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser July 18, 2013]

After the Color Run and coughing up blue and purple color dust for more than two hours Saturday, my sister and I made it to Carroll to visit family. While we were there, I saw aunts, uncles and cousins I don’t get to see very often.

We talked about my cousin’s upcoming wedding in Wisconsin, work and weather. We also talked about what was in the news.

In the past few weeks, there have been so many stories hitting the news sphere that I wondered how I managed to live without keeping up with them when I was younger.

News stories lately include gay marriage benefits, the George Zimmerman trial, Texas Sen. Wendy Davis’ 11-hour filibuster, Cory Monteith’s death and Mohamed Morsi’s ousting.

I remember when I was in high school and college, the only way I ever learned if something happened in the nation, or world, was by talking about it in a class or seeing it on Facebook, which I hate to admit. But, I’ve noticed I wasn’t the only one.

I wish now that I had kept up on the news in school, not because then I would have known what was going on, but because I would have known what was going on and how those things would affect me, then and now.

It wasn’t until I started working for the Creston News Advertiser that I began reading news. News never interested me before I started writing it, mostly because I found it boring and not creative. Now, I like knowing what is going on, globally, nationally or locally.

Reading news has also helped me learn how to write news. Like I said, I always found it boring. I studied creative writing, which focused on how to write poetry, fiction or non-fiction cleanly and fluidly, with one main rule being to show rather than tell. I have improved writing news, and at the same time still managed to keep my news and fiction writing separate.

I went to a workshop a few months ago with a couple of co-workers, and one thing that was discussed was how technology is used. Even with all the technology that surrounds us, like smartphones, Internet-capable music players and tablets, news sometimes doesn’t get looked at like it should. And, when it is, sometimes it’s through things like iReport, where nonjournalists play the role of journalist.

In the future, I hope to be able to spread journalism and the importance of news, how it affects people and why it may be important. News will always be important in some form or another, whether it be electronically or in hard copy, but I hope the term newspaper doesn’t become ancient.

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