BY SHELBY CRAIG
My name is Shelby Craig, and I am the new reporter for the Lacombe Express. You may have already spoken to me or haveseen me around at different events as I worked for another local newspaper, but although my scenery and employment haschanged, my goals have not.
For background reference, my love for reporting was not always a prominent part of my life until a few short years ago. My passion for photography came first when I was quite young, and then my enjoyment for writing came shortly after while inmy early teens.
My plan after high school was to become a photojournalist, but the closest program I could find was Communication Arts at Lethbridge College, which combined both photography and writing. I thought, why not? I may enjoy learning about media,journalism and everything in between.
Shortly after being accepted into the program, I packed up my bags and then I traveled the four hour road trip to Lethbridge where I was set up in my dorm after a tearful goodbye to my mom.
The years that followed were difficult, interesting and incredible. It’s cliché, how people say that college will be the favourite time of your life, and it’s true.
During our first year of the program, my classmates and I learned all aspects of the news industry including public relations,advertising, broadcasting and print media.
As much as I enjoyed being on camera and having my voice heard over the radio, my ‘trucker mouth’ and having no filter did not bode well for creating a future in broadcasting. So, with advice from my instructors, I stuck to what I enjoyed andwhat I did best, writing and photography.
From there, I worked for the school newspaper, writing stories about everything from school sports to local business features. I even got my first taste for writing about politics, as there was an election for local politicians that year.
I remember my assignment was to live-tweet the election while staying with a candidate, I believe he was with theConservative party, but I can’t quite recall. I impressed even myself with maintaining a professional attitude and asking allthe right questions as well as continuously updating the Twitter feed. Then, as I was leaving the candidate’s house, I shookhis hand, thanked him for his time, turned and tripped down the stairs.
Horrified, I looked back long enough to show every spectator at the top of the stairs that I was all right, said goodnight and walked out the door.
I truly believe that in every industry, you have to pay your dues. You have to go through those embarrassing moments,make mistakes and have times where you look like a fool in order to appreciate what success really looks like.
After paying what could only be described as dues, working as a waitress, housekeeping at a hotel and after makingcountless pizzas at a pizzeria, I finally graduated. I was free to really do what I want.
Since then, I have worked for two weekly newspapers, one up north and one locally here in town. Where every paper has allowed me to meet so many new people, learn many new things and have experiences I otherwise might not have had had Icontinued being a waitress or a cook.
I intend to make the most out of my new position here at the Express. I will continue to report accurate news, inform the local community and continue to grow as a reporter in this industry. I have come to know many individuals in thecommunity already and I hope to become acquainted with many, many more of you.
As a new reporter, I always welcome feedback and constructive criticism on all that pertains to the paper and would love tosee those in the community communicating with us here at the Express so please feel free to send in some ‘Letters to theEditor’.
And, if you have anything you would like to see published or have any tips regarding goings on in the community, shoot mean email and I will always be excited to hear from you.
I will also be spearheading the social media aspect of the Express, and encourage those who are computer savvy to join us online at the Lacombe Express on facebook and Twitter.