Blog, Journalism, Teaching

Help! Journalists Need Somebody

As a mom, I’ve learned to be resourceful from some of the best moms I know. I’ve learned that Febreeze comes in handy when PE uniforms are crumpled up in a book bag 30 minutes before school starts.

I now know that a quick lick of the finger wipes off cereal crumbs from a child’s face while pulling into school and that luckily, school cafeterias allow ‘charging’ for lunch once in awhile when I’ve forgotten to slip my kids $2 on the way out the door.

In a world where we deem ourselves as independent and self-sufficient, we sometimes forget that resources and a little help from our friends makes a difference in our productivity, performance and most of all, sanity.

But as journalists, we often view ourselves as loners, working on stories independently, hiding the cold hard facts and explosive leads until the published product reveals our hard work and stellar independence. Yes, we proclaim, I did it myself and I don’t need anyone else’s help.

The truth, though, is that journalists need resources. Journalists need other journalists to not only show them the way but to open their eyes to possibilities, access and creativity.

As a journalism instructor and faculty adviser of a college student newspaper, my job is to share resources, share information and expose students to multimedia and electronic platforms. I have knowledge of the industry but I don’t know it all. It’s true – your teachers do not know it all.

Over the years, I’ve grown as an instructor, adviser and journalist because I’ve utilized the resources of my colleagues, fellow journalists and most of all, my students. While I’m showing them layout guidelines, they end up showing me design software shortcuts. While I’m explaining how to write a lead, they are showing me tips for interviewing sources. We utilize each other to ultimately enhance the final product.

Asking for help does not equal failure. Utilizing resources equals success and growth.  Standing alone isn’t fun. Standing alone isn’t productive.

Teamwork, whether it is two journalists, students or even a mom with a child wearing a Febreezed gym uniform, produces a much better conclusion.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Sept. 3, 2010

© Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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