Freedom to Marry

I realized this week that I am fast approaching the 1 year mark at my first newspaper job after college, and I took a moment to reflect. Have I reached my goals? Am I as passionate and excited as I was a year ago? Has the work I have done made an impact? Have I grown professionally and personally? Some of these questions have answers, and some do not.

The weekly newspaper I work for publishes on Thursdays, as well as one of our competitors. Our other two competitors print on Wednesdays, so I like to collect them together and compare.  I have found it encouraging and challenging to see how other journalists cover the same topics and events.

Just married

Kal and Nancy Sanders stood holding hands in Pine County Court on Aug. 1 with their witnesses at their side snapping pictures to capture the moment. Their faces showed excitement, even nervousness. The big day was here. Read more…

After looking through the newspapers from this week and last week, I discovered that our newsroom was the only one to cover the Freedom to Marry Act and it’s impact on the community. Not only did we feature a same-sex couple’s journey to marriage, I contributed to front page design and we placed the story in prominence.

The Freedom to Marry Act is unpopular in our coverage area. The GLBT community has been subtly discriminated by the very conservative majority , something mentioned in the anchor story, and we were unable to find a religious group that would preform a same-sex ceremony.

The decision, we expect, will lead to some strongly worded letters, but it is one that I stand behind. Too often I feel that journalism, especially small town community journalism, avoids confrontation and the tough stories. While it is important to write the positive and uplifting stories, we have a duty to bring forward the issues that are difficult to look at and make us question ideas and beliefs.

I am proud of the work that we did and, personally, it reaffirms that I have positively impacted my community.

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