Shining a light on professionals was the goal of Warren County School’s Job Shadow Day on Friday.
Abigail Hodge and Michaela Hallum job shadowed Lisa Hobbs, Southern Standard reporter. The students are from Centertown Elementary.
“I want to be a photographer,” said Hallum.
Hodge’s added, “I like writing and I would like to be a journalist.”
Newspaper reporters write stories based on information and facts they gather. They collect this information by interviewing people, reviewing documents, taking notes and observing important events. Reporters cover many topics, including politics, sports, cultural events, accidents and natural disasters.
Hobbs covers all city and county government meetings, as well as human interest stories, school-related news, and a weekly animal feature at Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center called “Pet of the Week.” She has been with the paper almost 14 years.
Hallum asked, “What kind of pictures do you normally take?”
“Pretty much everything,” said Hobbs. “I’ve taken pictures of buildings, crews working on the street, animals, trees, etc. I cover city and county government meetings. When they discuss certain items, I go take a picture to include with the article. Sometimes a photo isn’t possible and the article goes in without one. My advice to you would be to take a photography class. Being able to take a good picture is very important.
The least favorite part of her job?
“That would be covering anything that includes a deceased individual,” said Hobbs. “I’d rather not, but I have. It’s not my normal responsibility. However, if I’m the only one here and something comes out over the scanner, I go. I’ve covered structure fires and wrecks with injuries, on occasion. Being a reporter means you have to be willing to cover anything that’s news-related.”
Normal work hours?
“There’s no such thing as normal work hours. We don’t work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., clock out and go home. I cover government meetings. Those happen in the evening. Sometimes, I don’t get home until 9 p.m. It’s all part of the job. When we work varies depending on what we have to do and when. No two weeks are ever the same for me.”
The girls asked about other advice.
“Develop thick skin,” said Hobbs. “Nobody is perfect. You will make mistakes, and some people are quick to criticize. You might even get blamed for things that aren’t you fault. You’ve got to be able to shake that off and keep going. Listen to their complaint, apologize if you feel it’s warranted and go back to work. Don’t let it bother you. If you allow it bother you, you might not last long as a reporter. This isn’t an easy job, sometimes.”
Students participating in Job Shadow Day do so voluntarily and are urged to pick a profession they are interested in pursuing.