The Story Behind the News Story

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Bob Denham (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Grace Gibson

Abstract: Eric Sevareid once wrote, "a journalist is a jack-of-all trades and master of none--except his own, which is being a jack-of-all." a fitting description of those who have pursued a career in journalism, and a key thought by which the primary aim of this study is based.As a full-time student at Pembroke State University who had just landed a job with Lumberton's daily newspaper. The Robesonian, my foremost concern as a young and aspiring reporter was to extend my knowledge of the daily operation of a newspaper and to record those findings in a project such as this.In addition, I wanted to work side by side with professionals who had made journalism a way of life, with the hope of gaining greater insight into the real world of reporting, much different I might add from the reporting of campus activities. I also wanted to vary my experience, to report in as many different areas as feasible, in effect, "to become a jack-of-all trades."A senior in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in communicative arts. I saw an opportunity to put my classroom instruction into everyday practice. I felt The Robesonian would benefit from my training.Five months of daily reporting for The Robesonian-- from December of 1978 to April of 1979--was set aside as the necessary amount of time needed in grasping a legitimate sample of journalistic procedure. Also, I chose to research the autobiographies of five leading journalist, comparing their humble beginnings in journalism with my own experiences at The Robesonian.I found it necessary to record my early journalistic experiences, realizing that a portfolio containing detailed accounts of my first published stories would become invaluable in time, possibly enhancing my future in the print medium. Just as importantly, I sought to identify the basic skills and abilities necessary for beginning reporters.In spite of its academic setting, this material was presented in first person. Any other approach than the journal-style used would have been awkward and uninteresting, since the meat of this project is directly related to "my experiences in journalism."Finally, only a small percentage of my news stories published in The Robesonian appear on pages 36 though 47. The stories were selected according to their value to this study.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1980
The Robesonian, Communicative Arts, Journalism, Journalist, Jack-of-all Trades, Reporter,

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