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On Feb. 16, Cheshire High School junior Jordan Nann spent her day with staff from The Cheshire Herald as part of her job shadow experience. Below is her take on the day.
Each year junior and senior students at Cheshire High School attend a job shadow, where they follow around a professional in a field that interests them in for a day. During the day they can learn about possible futures and career options for them. As a child, I first wanted to be a writer, then a detective, so journalist kind of fit. Through The Cheshire Herald, I was able to realize what real life, local journalism is.
Because The Cheshire Herald is a newspaper focused only the Town of Cheshire, reporters have close relationships with their sources. The symbiotic relationship between journalists and the firsthand sources that they work with daily is of the utmost importance. Mutual respect between the journalist and the source was important for both people, on both ends of the spectrum. It is a way to make sure that the information is correct, and detailed, and that there was not going to be a surprise framing or twist that would discredit either party. When talking with the director of Cheshire Parks and Recreation, the Cheshire Police PIO, and the Fire Chief, respect with the press is key.
Though having knowledgeable and reliable sources is imperative to the work of a journalist, writing about budget or technology, or any field with its own in depth workings and jargon, is incredibly difficult. And, as I’ve learned, it is the job of the journalist to best understand the difficult and complex material, and explain it in layman's terms. Asking questions is critical to creating a coherent and correct piece and is stressed in journalism.
Unlike most local newspapers, The Cheshire Herald has an opinions section, which gives people an opportunity to respond and evaluate their own opinions on a subject, whether they agree or disagree. The writers and editors at The Cheshire Herald, however, are very sure to not let the opinions of the editorials interfere with the facts in the news pieces. The Herald remains as unbiased as possible in the news.
Job shadowing for The Cheshire Herald was an enlightening experience. The job of a local journalist isn’t romantic, instead it is hard work and respectful connections. Yet, job shadowing here was fascinating and informative; it provided an in depth and accurate view of local news.