Right now, there is one thing I want in life, and that one thing is to become a journalist.
Journalism goes back to my roots, as my father has been a sports journalist his entire life. I grew up asking, “Where’s dad?” The response was predictable: he was covering a sporting event. My dad, Gary Baines, got an internship in college at the Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado’s local newspaper, and worked there for the next 25 years. He was the sports editor for several of those years, and I will never forget how proud I was — and still am — to tell my peers my dad’s job title. My older sister, Kelly, went to college and got her Bachelor of Science for editorial journalism.
As for myself, my quest in the field of journalism started accidentally. Kelly, being my greatest inspiration and someone I have modeled myself after for my entire life, took yearbook as a class in high school. She advised me to enroll as a sophomore since she enjoyed it so much — that is how she discovered her passion for journalism. She found her best friends in yearbook, and as a social butterfly always looking for more friends, this was reason enough for me to join. I joined yearbook and wasn’t that passionate regarding subject matter. Instead, I was passionate about the people. If I had to pinpoint my lack of passion now, I would say that it’s attributed to a combination of things. I didn’t immerse myself. I never went to cover sporting events simply because I wanted to attend them. I never took pictures because I didn’t take the initiative to learn how. And the last thing I would ever be caught doing was interviewing. Nothing was scarier to me than the thought of making a stranger uncomfortable and approaching them awkwardly. I was nervous out of my mind.
Things changed when I was on the yearbook staff my senior year. We went to an event called ‘Journalism Day’ at a nearby university. The day was sectioned into four periods, and in each period were multiple seminars we could attend. I attended several which dealt with broadcast, the principals of journalism, and the media in general, and I had my epiphany somewhere in between. It hit me like a ton of bricks, and I suddenly felt so passionate about journalism and what it represented. I suddenly found my hand raised as the professors asked “Who is planning on majoring in journalism?”
So, no, I don’t attribute my picking of journalism to my dad and sister, but I can contribute some of my love for journalism to them. And, as my career advisor said to me, “…well, it seems to me like journalism is in the blood.”
As soon as I took the so-called boring and dry required course that the journalism major requires at the university, I was hooked. I realized that I have an undying love for journalism that I will never be able to describe. I love the history of it. I love photojournalism and the impact the images have. I love the versatility of journalism. I love how traditional journalism is. I love that it is a part of my family. I love that it is a cornerstone of our society. I love that I can use my curiosity to better society. But I can’t put a finger on what exactly makes me so passionate about it. All I know is, I found what I want to do for the rest of my life. How lucky am I to be an 18-year-old who can confidently say that?
I was born and raised in Boulder, an excruciatingly liberal town. As a conservative, this proves difficult for obvious reasons. But at the same time, it has been one of the most invaluable experiences I could’ve asked for. Living in a town where my ideas are constantly challenged is irreplaceable and has taught me many things. It has tested me on why I believe in the ideology that I believe in.
Fox News is playing in my household 24/7 (thanks mom), which has partially fueled my love for political media and politics in general. I aspire to be a political journalist like Dana Perino, Eric Bolling, Greg Gutfeld, Kimberly Guilfoyle, or someone to that effect. A girl can dream.
Now, I am studying broadcast journalism and minoring in political science. I want to live in Washington D.C., at least for a while, and I want to get an internship there for a summer during college.
But for now, I have to do everything it takes to make me qualified and skillful. This field is increasingly competitive and declining, but I am willing to do anything it takes to get my dream job. Here is to a future of writing, reporting, interviewing, anchoring, and storytelling. Here is to journalism.