Surviving Your First Five Years in Journalism

Surviving Your First Five Years In Journalism

I’ll never forget my first job. I interviewed with The Miami Herald while attending the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention in Seattle, and Managing Editor Rick Hirsch talked to me about my reporterly hopes and dreams. I’m sure I said a bunch of stuff that made him inwardly chuckle, but he gave me a shot. By the Sunday of convention he had offered me a gig as a one year intern at the paper I came to affectionately call Ma Herald.

I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to get away from my parents and prove to everybody that my expensive Medill School of Journalism degree was well worth the cash. I was ready for my Pulitzer and prepared to be the black Lois Lane flying about South Florida.

And then I got down there, and my mom stayed with me for two weeks. And as she left, I sat on my brand new Rooms to Go bed and looked at my purple ROoms to Go couch, and I bawled my eyes out. My mommy was gone. I was in a strange place with a new, silver Altima, a ground-level apartment in a little known Broward County town and I didn’t know how to do my own hair in that humidity. I was a wreck! At least I knew how to string a sentence together. Except I didn’t.

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