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July 2, 2013 - Samantha Downing
I was on the schedule to do a Biz story, and I had no clue what I was going to do it on. It was suggested it that I do my story on Hooguh, a gamification company that has recently come to Marshall. Like most people, I had absolutely no idea what that meant. So I went down to 208 W. Main Street and asked just that. Caleb was a great interview and I was excited to write the story. I spent quite a bit of time on it, and hoped that people would like it, I quoted things correctly, and everything else that is necessary. No one really commented on the story, so I assumed it met the requirements. One thing about being an intern is I really have no idea what I'm doing most of the time. I didn't go to college for Journalism like my coworkers. Instead, I have a background in about 4 English classes that I've taken so far in high school, none of them focused on anything news related. I've dove right into this field of work using the guess and hope method. When I do something wrong, that is usually noted because that is how I learn, but it is rare to have someone call and tell me how they feel about an article I've written about them. I had just come in to the Independent and saw I had a message. I started to listen to it and as soon as I heard it was Caleb from Hooguh, my stomach dropped. I was thinking I had really screwed this up and he was going to correct some of my mistakes. But instead, he told me he loved the article. Even the photo caption that contained "advocates for awesome". He thanked me and told me that I "have created a positive buzz around town for Hooguh" and that I "had a bright future ahead of me in journalism if that is what I choose to do". It felt really good to hear that. Feedback of any kind is helpful and wanted, but this simple phone call gave me a boost of confidence in what I'm doing. It's still hard to believe that as a high school student I can be writing stories that are front and center for the local newspaper. Even though most people don't pay attention to the by-lines, it's awesome that I have this opportunity.
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