My first college article was published last week Sunday in my University’s Newspaper.
Prior to seeing my name underneath the headline “Chindia Rising” I was extremely anxious. I even insisted on keeping the prospect of getting my article published to myself, just to avoid possible negativity from people who wish me bad things behind closed doors.
Ultimately, it was published and at first glance I was very excited. Imagine my surprise when I found that my little article was able to get a full page, accompanied by a cute little picture of Mr. China and Mr. India at the bottom shaking hands. It was on the second page of the paper and there was even a little teaser at the top of the front page.
Granted, it is only the school paper but we all have to start somewhere.
After reading the article–about China and India becoming the future world powers–I was overwhelmed with mixed feelings. Part of me still had that initial excitement, and part of me was disappointed. The first thing I noted was a typo at the end that was not there in my original article. It wasn’t until after I left school that I had the time to actually compare the other information in the published version with mine. That is when it all went downhill.
I have to say that I am in no way proud of my article. (And my News writing class the following day that talked about what not to do was no help.) Oddly enough, my high school articles were much better. Perhaps it was the rigid and no-nonsense demeanor of my Journalism teacher, perhaps it was the fact that my grade was on the line, or perhaps I was just extremely nervous and anxious, but my high school articles were much more “me.”
That class was like our newsroom, and because of how quickly I caught on, I became an editor by the second semester. I was so used to editing my own article and the articles of others that I assumed I was going to get a chance to do it again. I submitted it long before deadline and waited patiently for the editor to tell me “this is what u need to change.”
That never happened. Instead, things were changed and I was never notified.
I was just as shocked to see the final article as anyone else. It wasn’t until this incident, though, that I truly realised the path I want to take, and the influence others can have on my article. (No one likes to be misquoted right?) I blame no one but myself.–I should have mastered the first draft before sending it in. And now whenever someone googles my name, the article is one of the first things to show.
In the end, I just know that simply being a reporter is not my ultimate dream–though I still enjoy it and will probably continue writing for the school paper. But the idea that someone else will get that last look, and last say, in my article with my byline is not for me. Editing is definitely where my heart is at.
But we live and we learn, right?