YOUR BUSINESS AUTHORITY

Springfield, MO

Opinion: Back in journalism but cub no more

Truth Talk

Posted online

Hello, Springfield Business Journal readers.

It’s an honor to be writing in these pages, and an even greater honor to have you reading them.

I’ve met some of you in previous careers, and some of you I have yet to meet. If you see me around town, please say hi. I love meeting new people and hearing about their work, dreams and passions.

For now, let me introduce myself.

I’m a storyteller.

It brings me a lot of joy when someone shares his or her story with me. In my six weeks at SBJ, I’ve interviewed a multibillion-dollar company CEO and entrepreneurs who were just getting their companies off the ground.

What I love about reporting is that it allows me to, just for a moment, spend some time in another person’s world. That makes every day different and meaningful.

My first gig in journalism was as a student at Evangel University. I declared my major right away and was eager to start working on the student paper, The Lance.

I was a freelance photographer my first semester; my second semester I was editor-in-chief. I’m still not sure how that happened, but I’m not complaining.

For me, it was the blessing of attending a small university. Working with a tight group of clever, eager journalists and a talented but tough adviser, Ms. Booze, afforded me an incredible opportunity. And with deadlines of a weekly paper looming, it was sink or swim.

I’ve tried to approach all my endeavors with this mentality. Work hard, ask questions and get it done. I first learned this as a student at Wanda Gray Elementary. It was a poster on my teacher Mrs. Still’s classroom wall that I’ve never forgotten: “Success doesn’t come from luck or natural ability. Success comes from effort.”

My final semester of college I was named the Society of Collegiate Journalist’s Arthur H. Barlow Student Journalist of the Year and began working on the features team at the Springfield News-Leader.

It was a whirlwind five months: Started my first real job, received an incredible and undeserved award, graduated with honors and then got married.

I guess I like being busy.

I loved working at the Springfield News-Leader. Many of my former colleagues remain close and respected friends.

A newsroom is a special and sacred place. Sure, it can smell like burnt coffee, and at a daily paper it’s never quiet with the police scanner going. But it felt pretty magical as a cub reporter, an affectionate industry term I learned from a white-haired co-worker.

After covering lifestyle, features, breaking news and higher education, I transitioned to managing communications at local nonprofit Ozarks Food Harvest.

It was an unexpected career twist but one that had significant impact on my life. Being trusted to share someone’s story who was struggling with feeding their children was a privilege. I spent a few years raising funds, grassroots support and awareness of the 1 in 5 kids and 1 in 7 adults in our community who aren’t sure from where their next meal will come.

Nonprofit work will always have a special place in my heart.

Now, I’m back in journalism and over the moon to be here.

Shoot me an email or give me a call to connect. I’d love to meet more of you running our business community.

The section I manage, Focus, has a weekly theme determined by SBJ’s Editorial Calendar. If you are in an industry that’s scheduled to be highlighted, I’d love to hear from you. As the experts, you know what’s trending, what’s new and what our readers need to know.

I can’t wait to work with you to tell the story of our community.

SBJ Features Editor and Audience Development Director Christine Temple can be reached at ctemple@sbj.net.

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