Emily Anderson

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It took me months to apply for my first writing job because I was intimidated. I was afraid that I didn’t have anything to offer — I was scared of what others would think of my writing. Then, I realized, journalism isn’t about the writer. It’s about the story and the people within it. Writing on this beat reaffirmed that idea.

When discussing issues surrounding refugees, it’s easy to get stuck on numbers. When reporting on refugees, however, it’s critical to amplify refugees’ voices and experiences. For numerous reasons, refugees are frequently marginalized and left out of conversations that involve their suffering and well-being. As journalists, we are obligated to seek out stories that are swept under the rug. There is value in telling the stories that are hard to tell, uncovering injustices and writing about how they affect those who have been wronged.

Although refugees’ experiences can be impactful and emotional, it’s important for reporters to step back and let them tell their own story. All writers approach stories with some degree of bias. This must be balanced by interviewing a breadth of sources and truly listening. Just because journalists are telling others’ stories, however, doesn’t mean they don’t have a responsibility to fact-check those stories. There are multiple sides to every conflict. Solid reporting captures all of those sides.

As I worked on this beat, I reconnected with what originally pushed me to pursue journalism. I rediscovered my love for learning, human connection and storytelling. I remembered what it’s like to lose yourself in a character and unwrapping their story.

ABOUT ME: 

Emily Anderson-2600Emily is an honors student studying journalism and the Middle East at the University of Utah. She spent summer 2016 taking classes in Arabic and politics at Princess Sumaya University for Technology in Amman, Jordan. Emily is on the editorial board for the Hinckley Journal of Politics and is the news editor at the Daily Utah Chronicle. Since 2015, she has covered stories from nearly every beat at the Chronicle. Emily enjoys going to punk shows in her free time, which has led her to be a contributor at SLUG Magazine and do freelance writing for Maximum Rocknroll. In 2016, Emily was selected as the Robert Avery Communication Scholar, which allowed her to intern with RadioWest and KUER News at Utah’s NPR affiliate station. Emily was the summer 2017 government and politics desk intern at The Salt Lake Tribune, where she wrote the Political Cornflakes newsletter and a number of stories on the beat. She hopes to eventually be a foreign correspondent based in the Middle East.