Mason Hardy

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At the start of this semester, I will admit that this beat brought me a lot of anxiety. I didn’t feel like it was my place to discuss the topic of minority groups in the community. I expected to struggle with my anxiety throughout the semester. Luckily, that turned out to only be half the case. My anxiety has curbed, but I will admit I did, at first, have some trouble with this beat. It took a lot of time, but I was able to nail my first topic down rather quickly. The second took more time to come up with, but it ended up being such a good learning experience.

My first topic covered the Friday Forum I attended, which included topics such as Black Lives Matter and philanthropy in the community. This piece turned out to be more of a summation story than I would have liked, as I could not seem to land any more personal interviews. I did the best I could with the information I gathered.

My second topic covered the Black Student Union and the organization’s efforts to include students on campus, what political activity is like within the BSU. I was able to speak to Maryan Shale, the president of the organization. She was more than happy to speak with me, and answered all sorts of questions. I struggle with making calls to interview people, as I don’t want to be too intrusive. She made the interview process so easy and so enjoyable. I learned to get over myself and remember who this information will be for, the reader.

Even if I didn’t feel like it was my place to cover this topic, I will say that the topics have brought more awareness of social justice issues. The Friday Forum I attended was completely about addressing social inequity and social justice issues. It was great to be able to focus my attention on such important topics.  Through this beat I realized that if not me, then who? I’m in a position to cover this community, so why not use my position to shine a light on a group that may otherwise be overlooked?

Shale told me about the BSU’s efforts to create a more equitable environment for Black students and faculty. BSU members wrote a bill that the student government organization helped sponsor. I had no idea that this kind of work was going on at the university, and it made me feel much more confident in our school.

My biggest disappointment this semester was that I was unable to get better sources for my first story. Perhaps it was that I was out of practice, or just could not seem to get in contact with anyone relevant to the situation. My biggest success was a bit more personal than it was academic. I was able to push my anxiety to the side to get the work done. Getting out of my own head was the biggest help to this beat. This semester has been a wonderful learning experience, and I look forward to implementing the skills I learned in future endeavors.

ABOUT ME:

Mason Hardy, originally from Las Vegas, is a senior Journalism student graduating with his bachelors degree in communication in May 2021. He currently serves as a writer for The Geekwave. Mason received his associate degree from Dixie State University, where he acted as a news anchor for Dixie Sun News. He loves to spend time with his wonderful husband and dog Lucy, and take road trips with them whenever possible!