Journalist or Reporter?

What is the difference between a journalist and a reporter? Is there? Can a journalist be a reporter, or a reporter be a journalist?

Going into a college I knew I was looking into Journalism. I knew I would do better at Journalism than something like Creative Writing because I never though I would be that kind of writer.

Writer, now there’s a another one.

Writer? Reporter? Journalist?

At IU, for me, there was no doubt I wasn’t getting into the Journalism program. It is one of the higher ranked schools, and provided four years of amazing classes and programs.

I worked on the school newspaper and magazine and started doing my outside writing for, but at school, I always felt like still a “student.” I was still the kid asking people questions, never really taking myself seriously as a real journalist.

When I think about the difference between a journalist and reporter, I figured journalists were of a higher caliber. Journalist. It just sounds better and in my mind, receives more credit than just reporter.

However, I was reading online today about this difference. According to several websites, the difference between the two is slight. A reporter gathers and writes information specifically for something like a newspaper. Reporters speak directly to people to gather the information and that is the only thing written, not including any opinions or editorializing.

A journalist is someone who gathers information and then disseminates it to the audience. A reporter can be a journalist, just like an editor, publisher and opinion writer can be as well.

Reporting is becoming one with social media, and now comes down to getting information, mainly just facts, published as fast as one can. Whereas, journalism is becoming more investigative, and longer in-depth writing made more for magazines and longer newspaper pieces. As one website said, “once “reports” are in a magazine or newspaper, it is usually old news.”

So where am I going with this? When people ask what I do for a living I respond with, “I write for a newspaper.” Yes, I do write, but I realized I do this because I want to hide from choosing between journalist and reporter.

I feel like journalist is too catchy or “big” for me, and reporter sounds too old-school. But, today after rushing out the door toward a potential shooting, I realized I was kind of both.

I enjoy writing the long, in-depth feature pieces on events or people with interesting stories. I enjoy writing about the hometown girl who recently ran a marathon worth Olympic Trials time, and I enjoy walking around talking with people participating in the town’s Cookie Walk event.

But when it comes to reporting, actually listening to the scanner and following the police to a car crash or potential shooting, like today, I am not as big a fan. The journalist in me does not agree with the reporter-focused stories.

During the shooting today, which ended up just being a scam from someone (gotta love those people), I was up and running with my notebook in one hand and my camera in the other. I was ready to report. “Where the hell did that come from?” I asked myself later. That is not me. I usually try to block out the scanner, to be honest.

Today marked something different. I reported, well I was going to report, because that is what newspaper writing is. It can’t all be easy, writing stories. There are facts that need to be reported down as fast as possible so that my readers, (if there are any), can get their information just as fast.

So, maybe after these few months of working, my reporting phobia is slipping away. Though, I still destine to be a writer, in the story, freelance sense, my job as a journalist/reporter is keeping me constantly busy as what a this position is supposed to do: be the watchdog for the public (I learned that in college-go IU).

We are supposed to be both-journalists and reporters. And writers, and readers, and listeners. Writing for a publication is knowing what to write, when and why.

Now when people ask me, I will still respond with I write for a newspaper. But inside, I know that I am a journalist. A reporter. And a needed community member.



Me and the foam roller…

My relationship with the foam roller is probably like many others-painful, mocking and unpleasant.

Sure we have a good times. When I can roll and crack my back, or use it as a pillow when I lay on the ground to read…

Ok, but honestly, why is it so hard to get off the couch at night and roll? In the back of mind the nagging feeling that my day is not complete until I roll out my aching muscles. I know later on, whether it is the next day or the next month, my body will thank me for keeping up on rolling out any soreness or kinks. Yet, the thing looks at me every night, taunting me.

For my job, I am a sitter. I sit in my office, I go to meetings and sit, and sit 30 minutes in the car each way to get to the office. I willfully admit that when I am not running I am a happy couch potato. Yet, sitting all day for hours, and not having many breaks in between, my tight muscles are just getting tighter. Yes I have a tennis ball and yes, I try to stand up and stretch every once in a while, but there the pain and soreness returns.

Make this an early New Year’s Resolution if you must. I am declaring a new goal: foam rolling every night even when I don’t want to leave the comfortable couch. Stretch, not just in yoga, but at in the morning and night. Use one of the ten thousand rolling sticks I have stashed in multiple places.

I always say swimming is a weird sport because it is ALL technique. Sure muscles and power will get you fast time in the 50 0r 100, but you have to have good technique to swim fast. Now if can just adjust that mindset to running. Each small technique change is each each minute stretching and rolling out the muscles needed to perform. Without healthy tendons, muscles, and joints, you will be on the ground in pain, or worse, back in a boot.

So, for all who read this and for myself grab that roller and get to work, because, trust me, there is nothing worse than spending a summer on the couch in a cast.





Running through Thanksgiving

Does anyone’s Thanksgiving plans really go as expected?

For me, not so much. However, my week, with all its food, running, sleeping and family, was pretty successful in the end.

I had plans for my holiday week, including having Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday off! I was so excited. I was going to cook/bake (something this is quite rare in my household), catch up on sleep, run A LOT, and work on core and stretching. Of course, there was eating and hanging with my sister on the to-do list as well.

Ken (the boyfriend) and I decided we were going to do a week of ten minute planks. Well, it was a good theory. We did well Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. But Thursday was a hectic work day, then hike with the family, to quickly heading out for holiday dinner number 1, to holiday dinner number 2 and collapsing on the couch. Friday was back to schedule with a run and ten-minutes of sore abs, then Saturday was another miss due to once again, busy work day for me, straight to a shower and heading out to the Christmas parade. And, Sunday was well, Sunday. Busy all day then crashing on the couch with a huge salad kept me off the plank floor.

So to recap the week in running: Neg-should have run more during the week because I took both Monday and Thursday off which I don’t like to do. Pos-I am proud of myself for getting out of bed Sunday when I absolutely did not want to and getting in a really good run.

Monday: Off day from running, and headed into work early so I could cut my hours short on other days of the week. At night around 8 p.m. met Ken at OMNI Health and Wellness, and did ten minutes of planks.

Tuesday: Ran 8 miles with Ken. Went throughout town at 7:38 pace. Felt really good. Later on, did ten minutes of planks inside the apartment.

Wednesday: Had to let Jules into OMNI so she could swim at 7 a.m. Ken and I lifted light weights, stretched, and did ten minutes of planks. Ran 7 miles with mom and by myself on the bike trail. Started off with mom, ran ahead an extra mile, then met her back at the car. Overall, 8:03 pace.

Thursday: Again, work in the morning. It was a rough day, dealing with a fire and a chilly, wet Turkey Trot, and by the time I got home I was not really digging a run. I did however take the two dogs for a walk at the beach with my family, which turned out to be the better choice.

Friday: Guilty for missing the run, I wanted to get a longer one in. So, by midmorning I was stretched and ready to go out in the again, chilly and wet weather. I ran in my Patagonia wind breaker and new LuluLemon tights and had that, “okay I look like a runner, lets do this,” mentality! I ran along the town’s bike path to the gym I go to, met Ken who had coconut water for me (my favorite running drink) and we did about 4 more miles together, for 10 overall. I began at an 8:20 per mile pace and ended up down to 7:20 pace. I wanted to get faster each mile, but I felt like it was not as easy to get down to the 7:20/30 as usual. Then we did our planks and continued on the day.

Saturday: Easy run during work, just 6 miles through town.

Sunday: Sunday… The day I wanted to rest, sleep in and have cereal in bed. Instead, I dragged my butt out a not too much later than planned and headed out. Ended up rocking a 14 mile run at an 8-8:04 pace with a .5 cool down at the end. Felt great and was really surprised i could hold that pace at the end of the week and not being the best mindset.

Last week was just another example of how things are always changing and sometimes, you have to do other things than run. Like Thursday, hiking with my sister and parents rather than getting in four miles-did it really matter in the end?

Next week, is another busy weekend and I am just going to play it by ear on how it is going to go. I am watching my sister swim at one of the biggest meets of her season. Should I worry about my 6 mile run? Or should I worry about being there for her? ding, ding ding.