Anne Roper




It had been a hard week.

I’d knock out one deadline just to have another sneak-attack me. I was juggling sources and stories, feeling like a one-woman show, just to have one person after the other belittle me and my choice of career.

I wasn’t feeling like much of a journalist. When I read the newspaper, I couldn’t help but feel like a peon. I wanted to be a journalist to make a positive impact on the world, but apparently I wasn’t any good at it.

Then I met Beverly Fenton.

When I walked into the American Indian Resource Center, I was met by a husky and the smell of cooking tortillas. Bev, as she asked me to call her, hollered for me to come upstairs. As director of the AIRC, she’d been on the phone all morning with a T-shirt controversy.

I’d gone to ask her about tribal colleges, something she said she was probably too gushy about. We bounced around topics as she told me about her dog, becoming a young widow and myths about American Indians. She asked me to dispel the myth that American Indians can go to college for free. Without hesitating, I said I would.

There it was: the opportunity to give voice to the voiceless. I could make a difference.

I began seeing the world a little differently.

Late that night, while driving home, I saw what looked like a big fire. I drove toward it thinking, “This is great! I have my camera and my voice recorder. I can be the first on the scene.”

It turns out it was just steam from a factory. But it was the first time I felt like I could actually handle life as a reporter. No one can be perfect. Deadlines will always be hard. But I have an instinct and a passion for truth that will keep me going.



Writing is my cheap therapy. Somewhere along the way, extracting words from my swirling thoughts makes them so much more manageable. And that is how I got into all this.

I credit Calvin Trillin, columnist for “The Nation” and frequent contributor to “The New Yorker,” for my draw to news writing. Needless to say, he is my favorite.

I currently write an opinion column for The Daily Utah Chronicle at the University of Utah and have written news in past semesters. I also write for Utah Trucking Association Magazine, and wrote for Salt Lake Community College’s student newspaper, The Globe.

Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication in December 2008, I hope to work my way up to being a columnist.

When taking a break from news writing, I enjoy writing and singing music, finding movie gems and grocery shopping.

%d bloggers like this: