A little goes a long way

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By Nick Schrager

 With Marion County High School’s sports programs in hibernation at the moment, I am left dipping my thoughts and hands into the hidden world of athletic activities in Marion County. While I do like putting a focus on some of the lesser known activities, it means I have to work just a little bit harder. I have to approach these activities from a completely different angle than I did at the high school. 

It also means the beat of the rhythm I have been dancing to has changed.

That being said, I am going to be honest, when I right-clicked the desktop and created a new Word document and named it “6-4 column,” I had no idea what I was going to write about.

So I just started writing to get the juices flowing. Sometimes when I write columns, I think they’re not good (and they probably aren’t most of the time). So, while writing, I decided to take sports out of the equation. 

When I did, this column began to write itself. It may sound a tad whiny at first, but please, bear with me!

It has been nearly a year since I took this torch from Josh and Jessica Veatches’ hands. In that year, I have learned a lot. I have learned a lot about sports, and I have learned a lot about being a sports journalist. I have also learned a lot about myself. 

I think the biggest thing I have learned about myself is that I can take a lot more punishment than I thought I could. 

Now, when I say punishment, I don’t mean actual physical abuse (although I have learned I can take some fast moving objects to the head and live to laugh about it). 

What I mean is this job can strain people. Journalism in general can. While I love my job, I cannot kid myself into saying I can’t understand why sports journalism has a high turnover rate. 

Because I know exactly why it does. The hours are long, sporadic, and you rarely get a true day off. While there is praise, there are also people who have something negative to say about you or your work - sometimes it’s fair, sometimes not.

When I was in school, one thing I learned was most people with degrees in this field do not work for media outlets. Instead, they go off to marketing, or public relations. 

Honestly, I can understand that move.

Journalists do not make a lot of money. Especially sports journalists. This job is considered part-time, though in all honesty, I can and do put in around 40 hours a week all said in done, sometimes more when it’s super busy.

Please don’t think I am using this column to say I don’t make enough money, because that’s not what I am trying to communicate.

This is a high stress job with long hours and high stakes. But the job does come with its rewards.

We act as voices for people who would not normally be able to speak out, and we give people the chance (whether or not use the opportunity is up to them) to say what they want to say publically. 

You could call us advocates and defenders of freedom of speech.

Because of this, I think we are deserving of a holiday. After all, there are holidays for moms and dads, veterans, and heroes - why shouldn’t there be one for us? I may be the smallest fish in a small pond, but I’d like to think I’ve made a difference in some small way. 

For this column, I decided to Google the phrase, “National journalist day” for kicks. 

As it turns out, we do have a holiday, it’s internationally recognized, and we just missed it! Darn!

The holiday I am referring to is World Press Freedom Day, and it’s recognized by the United Nations General Assembly. It is held on May 3. 

Though the holiday is not necessarily celebrated with fireworks, or barbeques and picnics or gift giving, it does recognize the contributions of journalists/media outlets that defend or promote freedom of the press. 

Pretty neat huh? 

I think so, anyway. 

I hope this column hasn’t scared off any graduating MCHS students from pursuing a degree in media studies/journalism, but if it did, please note that while any praise you may get is small, it sure does mean a lot!