While I’ve been on the job for a few months now, I’ve yet to formally introduce myself: My name is Elizabeth Arakelian and I am the newest reporter at the Turlock Journal. I am covering the education and agriculture beats and have been writing for the Journal since October, which means I have tested the waters and can safely say I am very glad to be on board.
Honesty is a great place to start when introducing oneself, which is why I must reveal that I write with an ulterior motive: I am not only here to introduce myself, but to defend print journalism. To continue with the water allegory, I see why people may be tempted to see print journalism as a sinking ship. As a young adult in a world that seems to digest information in 140 character tweets, I can safely say that writing for a newspaper is about the last place I expected to be working. But, it is also the best thing I’ve done in a long time.
Fresh out of the University of California, Santa Cruz last June with a degree in English Language Literatures in hand, I pondered my future which was a very overwhelming thing to do. Having studied in London and spent my last three months of college interning at museums in Washington, D.C. I did not imagine that my upcoming travel plans would include exploring my hometown of Turlock. While it may seem easy, even enjoyable, to leave home and not look back, I found it strangely more difficult to return home and rebuild my life. Turlock was no longer the fixed experience in my mind that shuffled me through the same schools as my sisters year after year with my childhood friends beside me the whole way. I had to craft my own experience here and little did I know that my craft of writing would lead me to the Turlock Journal.
Working at the Turlock Journal allows me to not only hone my writing skills but better yet, share it with the community. In a world where breaking news typically hits the internet before the printing press, newspapers have become a dignified and reliable source of news. While the unpredictability of information one finds on the internet is exciting, it simply makes the consistency of the newspaper even more necessary. The internet is an important component of spreading the news, but the synergy that is shared among the editorial, advertising, production and circulation departments to produce a tangible newspaper cannot be replicated. The team at the Turlock Journal is a committed one and I am proud to be a part of it.
Education and agriculture are hallmarks of life in Turlock and I feel fortunate to get to expand my knowledge of our community by covering these beats. As a reporter I have reconnected with familiar faces and encountered new ones and the best aspect of this job is that I am exploring facets of daily life in Turlock that I never knew existed. I’ve forged new friendships and satisfied my natural curiosity by simply chatting with store owners and students, farmers and principals. Better yet, I get to be their voice and share their story with a community that I know values their local newspaper. If you have something that pertains to education or agriculture that you find newsworthy or simply want to chat, my line is always open. Feel free to contact me at 634-9141 ext. 2015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.