Remain Focused At All Times



I’ve had a number of times where I’ve almost lost focus on the task at hand.

You never know what it’s going to be. It can be a parent, a town official or anyone. you have to be ready for it.

My most recent example comes from a graduation.

Now, let me step back a moment.

Graduation stories are never about being unhappy or “catching” anyone or any district doing anything out of the ordinary. Everything stops that day and it’s all about the graduates, speeches and, God willing, the nice weather. I feel like that goes without saying. There is nothing tricky about them. They are all straight forward and, I think, they’ve been like that since newspapers started covering them, which could be for hundreds of years.

Recently, I had someone approach me, while I was covering a graduation, and tell me to write a positive story.

This person didn’t say hello, but, instead, told me to write a happy story.

I don’t remember exactly what I said back, but I remember looking at the person with a quizzical look. I couldn’t believe they had said that to me.

I got pretty upset. I don’t usually lose my cool, unless it’s a pretty big story.

Even today, I still can’t believe that’s what they said to me.

I told them that, of course, the story was going to be a happy one. All of the district problems stop for a day and the story is just about the graduates. Where in the world had they read a negative graduation story? I just don’t get it.

I quickly changed the subject and then ran away to get my spot. I had to take pictures and notes for the graduation and I didn’t  want to miss anything.

For the most part, I kept my cool and carried on. I completely forgot about the whole thing until I sat down to write the story that night.

I laughed it off and went about my work.

It’s incidents like that which keep you on your toes. As a reporter, you have to be ready to take the shots and then continue doing your job. No one said this was easy. It’s about putting any hard feelings away and sticking to being a professional.

That will be tested from time-to-time, but that’s okay.

You get up the next day and do it all over again.



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