My first semester at The Cronkite School is over and needless to say, I am exactly where I need to be.
These past few months alone I have learned from Judy Woodruff, Floyd Abrams, Susan Goldberg, Leonard Downie Jr., Walter Robinson, Peter Hamby, Vanessa Ruiz, Matt Barrie and way too many other names in the business than I could possibly remember. I have also had the opportunity to run cameras for the nightly production of Cronkite News. Luckily, through my experiences with School Video news and HVTV, I was the only one who did not need training for it! Obviously, I am geared towards work in front of the camera, but it has still been an amazing learning experience to see it happen from all sides of production--not to mention, as a freshman, you take what you can get. And with all of this new knowledge at hand, I have also had a lot of opportunities to change my mind. As many of you know, I have continuously believed political reporting was set to be my path. Everything from the campaigns, to the issues and elections, fascinated me, and trust me, it still does. However, I realized it is just not something I can see myself doing for the rest of my career and I have decided that in-depth feature stories and human interest pieces are really where I thrive the most. As I looked back, it made sense. Nothing ever made me happier in my high school courses than the projects that allowed me to represent people in a way that showed how much more there is to someone than we would ever see on the surface. So, for now, 60-Minutes is the endgame (I know, I know--for me and every other j-school student) and Cronkite even has a new Life- magazine program they just started this year. I am not one to believe in coincidences, but this one might be an exception.
On top of that, most everything else has changed too, but that's college for ya. I have continued working at a Michaels store out here and I fit into the team there so well that it does not even feel like work half the time. Plus, if we are being real, that coffee money has to come from somewhere. I have also learned that hiking is a lot harder than it looks, that Arizona has the. best. farmers markets, there are people in this world who wear winter coats when it is 60 degrees and long distance relationships of any kind are worth everything they take to continue (really though, a huge thanks to anyone and everyone who has made an effort to keep up with me and my confusing time difference through letters, emails, texts and facetime calls. I always love the updates!)
Most of all, I have learned so much about the world around me. ASU is one of the, if not THE most diverse college here in the United States and they do not take that responsibility lightly. I am so inspired by the values of this community and the way the faculty has devoted their careers to giving everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.
I will just leave it at that considering I could ramble on about this place forever. It is hard to believe only a year and a half ago I just happened to stumble upon this school in an article on the internet, and now I am here with my whole future ahead of me. I hope everyone has a great, and very relaxing, time spending the holiday's back in Ohio. Personally, I will be staying right where I am for the time being. There is just too much I have yet to experience. You know, like winter, but without the snow.
A recent graduate of Hoover HIgh School, North Canton, Ohio, Jamie Landers is entrenched in her first year at the Cronkite School of Journalism. In addition, she is a Special Events Producer for School Video News and has anchored many of our events including the annual Ohio Education Technology Conference broadcasts and the Student Production Awards of the Ohio Valley National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
While at Hoover High School, she was involved in her school’s broadcast class, HVTV News, and produced and hosted “Spotlight” a TV11 show that stepped away from the school and community to focus on breaking down national headlines.
Her time permitting, we hope to follow Jamie's journey through Cronkite and share her experiences with other aspiring broadcast journalists.