Whitney Butters



Utah’s economy? I was less than thrilled this would be the topic we would cover for the entire semester. When I first thought of the word “economy,” my mind automatically went from “business” to “money” and landed on “boring.” How on earth would I ever be able to write four stories about something I had no interest in and knew nothing about?

It wasn’t until Keriann led us in a group brainstorming session that I realized how rich of a topic it really was. We listed all the different aspects of life that the economy affects, and I began to see how pervasive of an issue it is. As is evident by the beats covered by my classmates, the economy influences everything from music and community sports to university students and sustainability. I suddenly began to see the human side of the economy behind the dismal numbers.

Even within my beat of women, the economy’s omnipresence is felt on multiple levels including education, employment, domestic abuse and the beauty industry.

This beat opened my eyes to the fact that Utah women are not sitting around helplessly letting the down economy take over — they are proactively taking matters in their own hands and doing something about the situation. Whether they are returning to school or taking on a second job, women are finding ways to rise above the struggle and do their best to create a better life for themselves and their families.

I was able to hear many inspiring stories as I looked through the lens of women in the economy. Each of my sources graciously allowed me a glimpse into their lives, and I wish I could have included in my stories all that these amazing women shared. I am grateful for the opportunity to interact with these compelling and strong women who added a much-needed human element to the topic of the economy.

This experience stretched and challenged me, which I believe has ultimately made me a better journalist. I learned to ask the hard questions and put myself out there because the worst I can get is a, “No.” Most importantly, my journalistic belief that everyone has a story to tell has been solidified. Whenever I get a story assignment from now on I will remember there is always a compelling story to be found, even in the “boring” topics.


I will always remember the day I decided to be a journalist.

I was on a tour of the Deseret News building my junior year of high school. I remember listening to the journalists’ phone conversations and looking over the shoulders of the page designers — I was immediately fascinated. But what really hooked me was when I opened the paper the next day and saw what they had been working on, tangible, on the pages in my hand.

This experience has led me to the University of Utah, where I am pursuing a degree in mass communication with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in arts and technology. I am currently a junior and hope to graduate in spring 2012.

My journalistic philosophy is everyone has a story to tell. No matter who person is and where he or she comes from, everyone has an experience, if not multiple, that can interest others. As a journalist, I want to make it my job to find those stories somewhere beneath the surface.

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