Believe it or not, whether you want to be a journalist or a construction worker, all professionals from every company known to man will tell you the same thing.
Writing is one of the biggest keys to success.
I didn’t write for The Minaret in my senior year due to internships and fraternity obligations. Nonetheless, in my two years of sports reporting for The Minaret, I had some great experiences.
I learned how to write on some stressful deadlines. Sitting in front of some not-so-personable coaches and players with a microphone taught me the art of the interview. I also learned how to do some technical writing, which in the sports world means writing the good old game story.
A lot of what I learned was about transferring my creativity from mind to paper. For the not-so-skilled writer, don’t be fooled. Whether a veteran or a rookie, it is never easy to bring your mind to life on paper. With that said, after what feels like a hundred revisions, there is no greater feeling than reading your story and being happy with the way it came out.
I can’t even tell you how many times I handed in a story that was critiqued and handed back to me to further report on. Those are the stories I take pride in. Those are the stories that taught me the ropes.
Part of the ropes was catching a big break. In my junior year, Chris Harry, a sports reporting professor, helped me obtain correspondent work for the Tampa Tribune. The Minaret definitely prepared me to be able to write on deadline for The Tampa Tribune. Sure, I have only covered three games for them, but at 21 that’s not so bad.
Through all my experiences at your faithful school paper, two people stand out as mentors and friends.
Peter Arrabal, who is one of the best student sports editors I know, dispensed story after story to me. He had faith in my abilities (and always wanted to dump more stories on my lap as well but was rarely successful.) In the years I have known Peter, he turned a boring-looking sports section into a vibrant work of art that everyone admires. Read his stories as well. They are pretty good.
On the other side, Minaret adviser and my former teacher Charles McKenzie taught me more than just the textbook stuff (and that dreadful AP book). In countless conversations, he showed me that reporting is about going the extra mile, about thinking outside the box. Most of all, he showed me that this business is not glorious. If you want to be a journalist, sports or other, you better be ready to move to West Nowheresville (not a word) and work at a small paper.
My name is Jordan Chariton. From my sophomore year to senior year, I wrote for The Minaret. It was an honor and privilege to do so.
And if you read my work even one time: Thanks.