Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ross Markman: Reporter at Work

By Meagan Jaskot 

 Ross Markman is a prime example of a journalist who knows how to work on a deadline. There were many things that struck me in Markman's short spotlight article in Newswriting on Deadline, beginning with his remarkable work ethic. 

Because he covers a small town, Markman is in charge of many of the features in the Havre Daily News in Montana.  His turnover is about two articles each day. This is no easy task, but Markman simplifies the writing process with deep preparation.  Although I always knew the importance of pre-writing, I never realized just how imperative it is for local journalists. Before attending meetings or town events, Markman does his research so he knows what to expect. By doing this, Markman is able to keep pace with the conversations taking place between various townspeople. Markman is responsible in that he never makes excuses.

By setting high personal standards, Markman not only submits well written work, he also leads his co-workers by example. The content of stories are also key. A good news story is one that will interest many people in the community. Boring details should either be spared or included briefly within a larger story.

The third and most prominent detail from Markman's story was about how he came to be a journalist. While in college, he wasn't quite sure where his future would take him. Instead of pursuing a degree in journalism, he declared a major in the broader field of liberal arts.  While working towards his associates, Markman shockingly only took one journalism class.

While reading, I drew a parallel between Ross and myself. I have yet to declare a major, so I liked that Markman discovered his passion for journalism at an internship rather than in a classroom. Markman stated that he gained most of his knowledge through his experiences at his internship, which he was later able to leverage into a career. In fact, Professor Crumb brought a similar facet to our attention, noting there will be a speaker at STAC discussing this very topic.

Overall, Ross Markman is a good representation of a journalist today. With many local papers downsizing, great responsibility is placed in the hands of a select few. Markman works hard to generate accurate news stories in a timely fashion. He demonstrates an exemplary work ethic that all reporters should strive to mimic.

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