It’s quite possibly the hardest thing to do, telling the unwilling stories. Wither it’s just people who have no desire to be known or people who refuse to document an experience. My first week as a online newspaper editor has been less than hopping. I was encouraged by the emails awaiting me the day after the launch…but since then it’s been nothing.
I keep encouraging people, in that nice/stern way…..I admit I knew this was how it would be at the beginning. Everyone prays that they are the exception to the “it takes time to build the house” rule. This publication is just like all the rest. We have to build an audience with constant (relevant news). The question is how do we provide news to an age group that can’t even tell you about what’s happening in the town around them?
This is my current challenge, to tell the stories of some pretty amazing people, and encourage them to tell their own stories and to use their voices. Stop laughing at the idealistic journalist. While I’m learning how to navigate the people who could care less, I occasionally come across people who want to tell the stories of others. For instance, a freshwoman that I’m pretty chatty with was talking to me about a trip she a few others students had taken that weekend. They had attend a shape note singing meeting at the Alabama State Archives. I followed their adventures throughout the day on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. The freshwoman was so animated about all the things she had done and just being in the state capital. That energy that she had in infectious, especially when you got to see first hand what shape note singing was. I encouraged her to write about her experience and before I knew it she had a draft waiting for me in my inbox.
Now if I could just find some more souls like this…..