Dear Future Statementers,
You may not know of me, or have even heard of me, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from me. Yes, my presence will no longer be here, but I have taught those who willl come after me what I have learned from Statementers who came before me.
By the way, my name is Aallyah…Aallyah Wright. I am currently serving as the Editor-In-Chief of The Delta Statement. Where I’m from doesn’t really matter, and my life adventures up to this point don’t matter either, but I am going to share a few things I’ve learned from the Statement and hope all of you can carry on after I’m gone.
When I first started writing for the Statement, I was timid and unprepared. I would get my assignment from my editor, get in contact with my interviewee, and prepare for the interview.
Sometimes, I would write down questions and go straight into the interview without doing an adequate amount of research first. That’s a big NO-NO! So, my first rule of business would be to:
Do your homework! Make sure to research your subjects, events, or whatever it is you are reporting on.
Another thing I started doing was getting in the habit of writing down interview questions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing questions down. Unfortunately for me, I had gotten so caught up with making sure I asked my list of questions, I would forget to get the most important information out of my subjects. I would advise you to:
Be conversational—forget the questions! Make sure you get those key questions answered before you leave your interview, but get to know your subjects personally. People like talking about themselves. Dive deeper!
Once I got in the groove of writing, interviewing, and reporting, I started building more confidence. Whenever I would submit my articles, I submitted them on time and made sure everything was polished, but you know what I didn’t forget to do?
Fact check everything! No matter if you think someone’s name is spelled correctly or if you think your source gave you accurate information, go back over your work to make sure everything is smooth sailing. It’ll help you in the long run.
Out of all the things I learned from being a part of this award-winning publication, the most valuable thing I have learned was to:
Stand up for what you believe in! If something doesn’t sit right with you or you just need to voice your opinion on an injustice, seek answers. Developing passion for a topic is the first step into the right direction. Before you create biases, make sure to seek information from opposing parties on the same topic. Become knowledgeable about it before you go on a full-fledged rant.
During my years on this paper, I’ve grown tremendously as a writer and as a person. I owe a lot to the Statement and I hope you future writers will continue to keep JOURNALISM alive and well. Technology will help you advance by telling stories in a unique and different way, but don’t let those technological advances deter you from revealing truth.