This week has been a marathon already — a libel law exam, a Missourian GA shift, a sociology book review, internship applications — and this afternoon I’m headed to Kansas City for this week’s UM System Board of Curators meetings.
It’s this kind of week that gets me frustrated, not because I don’t love what I’m doing, but because in trying to juggle being a student and a reporter I miss out on stories that I know I could (and very much would) have covered if I’d had the time.
The Kansas City Star’s Mará Rose Williams was able to publish an advance that I wanted to do about the addition of a closed-session presidential search meeting to this week’s previously scheduled Board of Curators meetings. But because of my student responsibilities, my own version of this article just never made it into my top priorities and now I’m simply following up a story that’s already been read by so many people.
And I don’t mean to be making excuses.
This same kind of frustration hit me in my post “Go with your gut,” when Janese Silvey of the Columbia Daily Tribune (almost) scooped us on a big story. As a professional, she’s afforded more time to develop relationships with sources and she’s more entrenched in her beat, something we student-reporters simply cannot do in 15 weeks.
But as a competitive, hungry reporter I don’t like losing. I don’t like being second and I don’t like chasing stories after someone else has broken them. It doesn’t make the story any less important or the reporting any less valid, but there’s that old-school point of pride in being the writer that broke the story.
Even worse, it’s not a frustration I can do anything to change. No matter how organized I am or how efficient with time I become, sometimes I just cannot compete with folks who get to put every minute of their day into their reporting. And the day I can do that too just can’t come soon enough.