The Reporter — best decision I ever made

Each time someone asks me about my experience at The Reporter, I have to go back and tell them the whole story.

My second semester at MSU I was looking for an on-campus job for some extra cash. I saw the sports writer application, and I figured that since I understood a total of three sports it would be easy and it would give me a reason to go to the games. Just one semester into the job and I knew that writing for sports was not for me. 

Coming into production nights my sophomore year is what got me connected to the newspaper. I was nervous that I would be interrupting the workflow, but I quickly caught on that nobody minded. I used this time to talk with the editors, take on extra stories, and bond with the people I worked with. 

The editorial staff encouraged me to have my own column, Ask Jenna, where I would answer any questions sent in by students. This column was short-lived, as the only person outside of the newspaper that sent in a question was a friend of mine out of state. 

Once COVID shut everything down, I was asked whether I’d like to be the sports or news editor beginning the next semester. As I had been trying to get away from writing for sports for a few months, I bit the bullet and decided to take on news, despite never writing for it before.

I’ll never forget walking into the office for the first time that summer for a mini orientation with Max Mayleben and Mansoor Ahmad. This was the first time we were working together, and the awkward tension of three (almost) strangers could have been cut with a knife. Thankfully, this tension vanished within the first week of production, as the three of us made up almost the entirety of the staff and were forced to talk to each other.

The Reporter has given me opportunities that I wouldn’t have dreamed of. 

Mansoor and I traveled to Rochester to cover Trump’s last Minnesota rally before the 2020 elections, I got to report on the announcement and struggles with this year’s MavPODs, and I stayed connected with MSU’s sports by writing about the dance team’s trips and accomplishments at nationals.

Comparing where The Reporter is at now when I started, it’s astonishing to see the improvements we’ve made. I look forward to seeing where the future editors take the paper, and I’ll be cheering them on.

I’ve been dreading the day where I say goodbye to The Reporter. I’ve made my best friends at this newspaper, and without them I don’t think my college experience would have been as frustrating but rewarding than what it has been. Working for my college’s newspaper has been the peak in my life. All of the late nights at the office, all of the arguments we had with each other … I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Write to Jenna Peterson at Jenna.Peterson@mnsu.edu

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