Opinion Column

Summer of learning how to be a journalist over in a whirlwind

By Ryan Stelter, Camrose Canadian

Camrose Canadian summer reporter Ryan Stelter enjoys an ice cream cone at Big Valley Jamboree. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian

Camrose Canadian summer reporter Ryan Stelter enjoys an ice cream cone at Big Valley Jamboree. Josh Aldrich/Camrose Canadian

It did not feel that long ago that I was writing my welcome column, introducing myself to this Prairie city. It’s been a whirlwind of a summer. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned about journalism in the past three months. 

 

If you recall, I am trying to break into this crazy world of deadlines and cutlines, and this summer has only cemented my desire to become a real-life journalist. 

A lot of people asked me how I ended up in Camrose after telling them I was from Winnipeg. However, I am glad I ended up here. I consider it an honour to have been able to tell the stories of the people of Camrose, and to cover events people care about. It was a thrill to me to know people out there were reading my articles. Working at a student newspaper will give you a bit of pessimism about your writing, because no one reads student newspapers.  

I have also learned in my time here how much work goes into running a weekly newspaper. I am sure a lot of you are aware of this, but it’s one guy doing it here. What can I say about my editor, Josh Aldrich? I hope you all know how much work this guy does in bringing high-quality content to the pages of the oldest newspaper in this city. 

The big event this summer was obviously Big Valley Jamboree. What a ride that was. For a lot of people, there was not much talk of it going on up until a couple weeks prior. Here at the Canadian offices, there was talk of BVJ it seemed every day. 

When Josh interviewed me for this position, BVJ was one of the first things he mentioned, and didn’t stop mentioning it until it was over. It was a long, gruelling experience, but I am pretty proud of the content we churned out both in the lead up and following the festival. 

When I first started going to university, I had my heart set on becoming a big executive in a large corporation making lots of money. I am so thankful I did not decide to pursue that venture. Working for the Canadian has taught me that long, irregular hours and seeing something different every day is way more satisfying. 

I have gained so much from working here. This has not only made me a better journalist, but a better person. I have done a lot of travelling overseas, which has taught me a lot about how different people are all over the world. There is something to be said about the differences between Albertans and Manitobans. Even as far as saying I have a “Manitoban accent” which completely stunned me. I am not going to delve into every exact difference between the provinces, but it was fascinating to see how people here view the world. The differences amongst citizens of the same country is interesting.   

Gaining a new perspective is never a bad thing. In fact, I think it expands your own world view and makes you a better person. In journalism, the ability to gain new perspectives and see another person’s point of view is crucial. I have gained so many new perspectives from everyone I’ve met and interviewed in Camrose.  

I want to thank all of the people I’ve dealt with for putting up with my constant phone calls and allowing me to tell your story. Like I said before, it was truly an honour. I don’t know when or if I’ll ever be back in Camrose, but it will always hold a special place in my heart. You can also bet I’ll be rooting for the Kodiaks from two provinces over. 

Thank you, Camrose, for welcoming me into your city and for allowing me this great opportunity. As the Germans say, “Bis bald.” 



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