OPINION COLUMNS

All Around Wise: Career Day reveals true love for job

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, February 23, 2019
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After two days in the state capitol hearing all the wonderful opportunities before the Texas Legislature, I returned to Wonderful Wise Wednesday.

The trip south included a few verbal jabs from the State Senator on the shortcomings of my profession, which I understand is part of the political game these days. No hard feelings here. He took some time in the Capitol to answer a few questions and gave out his personal number to call, which I plan on using many times this session.

Richard Greene

With that backdrop, I headed out Wednesday to bestow the virtues of a career in journalism to high school students in Boyd. After having a teenager at home, I know any adult getting the full attention of 16-, 17- or 18-year-olds to talk about the future is a tall task.

I will say the students were very gracious and listened intently, for the most part. Thankfully Messenger Publisher Kristen Tribe kept me from drowning as I rambled.

In talking to four classes, we conveyed why we love this profession, continue to do it and why here.

To be honest, while I loved reading the sports page from the time I could read, being a writer was never my intent in high school. A math and accounting nerd, I figured a business route was soon to follow.

Then I got involved in yearbook and started writing a few sports stories at the Gainesville Daily Register. The next thing I know, I’m majoring in journalism at the University of North Texas.

After starting at a community newspaper and making a swim through a daily, I decided community journalism was the place for me. As Kristen put much more eloquently, we have a special accountability as community journalists, which includes going to Wal-Mart and running into sources. We can’t just do a story and skip town. We are required to build relationships, which we cherish.

We also have the opportunity to impact our community by bringing attention to issues. This stood out to some of the Boyd students, who have witnessed so much tragedy on Farm Road 730. That, along with another issue that I’ll tackle next week.

In speaking to students, we didn’t shy away from the issues facing journalists today from social media to the barrage of criticism, including the “fake news” fad. Our advice was for students to question sources and to read from varied outlets. We do.

Everyone is quick to call out a media bias. But when put into a historic perspective of newspapers during the Revolutionary War or the yellow journalism that led to war with Spain, we’ve come a long way.

After six hours and four presentations, I did come away with this realization: “I do love what I do.”

Thanks to the Boyd High School staff and James McDonald for the opportunity.

To any students that do love to write and are considering a career in journalism as a reporter or in public relations, feel free to call with questions.

Richard Greene is the editor of the Messenger.

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