Chris Mumford


Taken at the Dooda Desert Rock protest Nov. 8, 2008. Photo by Keith Araneo

Taken at the Dooda Desert Rock protest Nov. 8, 2008. Photo by Keith Araneo


MY BLOG: Perspectives

Standing alongside Elouise Brown in the middle of the New Mexico desert, I felt a strong impulse to abandon any concern for objectivity and join Brown’s cause as a spokesperson. I hadn’t anticipated the challenges that I would face in trying to get information from Brown in her own environment, surrounded by her passionate supporters. At a certain point, concerns over objectivity started to become such a distraction that I had to pace around the camp for a while in order to regain my focus.

Ultimately, I was able to do what I needed to do and get the best information that I could for my story. But the experience has certainly left its mark on me. I won’t soon forget that the urge to make friends — and the even-stronger urge to avoid making enemies — is rooted so deeply in instinct that it should never be neglected.

And while I think that the story that I came away with gives some weight to both sides of an emotional debate, there’s no denying that Brown’s skill in staging her event comes through in my piece. The beautiful sweep of the New Mexico landscape became an imposing force in her plea for environmental harmony. Her statements, no matter how strongly worded, were no match for the beautiful panorama, which is why I began my story with a realization that came to me as she pointed out the site for the proposed plant. She had done for me what I strive to do to become a more compelling a writer: She didn’t just tell me why the landscape was precious to her, she showed me.  



I’m a senior in mass communication at the University of Utah, where I plan to graduate next summer, 2009. My interest in journalism was sparked during my last year of high school when my English teacher encouraged me to pursue a career in writing. Ever since, I’ve had the opportunity to cover a range of interesting subjects and individuals. But my work in the Native American community this semester has been some of the most fulfilling and enjoyable that I’ve done thus far in my young career. This experience has taught me a great deal about the amount of work and determination that quality journalism requires. And above all, my work this semester has affirmed my passion for writing. 

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