A Reporter’s Choice: Passion Over Paycheck

Lauren Linhard – llinhard@eveningsun.com – @LinhardReports

As you may have heard, since every reporter in the Evening Sun newsroom tweeted it out this morning, newspaper reporters earned the honor of having the second worst job of 2014, according to an article out from USA Today.

Fun fact – we were actually the number one worst profession to have in 2013. So here’s to the lumberjacks who took that spot this year. At least we are moving up in the world. Although, according to this article, our outlook remains bleak with a predicted 13 percent decline in job availability. 

So why do us crazy kids get into journalism anyway? Why are we ignoring the warning signs of what people keep calling a dying industry? It’s simple really – because we want to. 

We get up every morning and want to come to work. How many people can actually say that? We get to find a story, one we or the public is passionate about, and share it.  Notice I said “get to” not “have to” because it’s a special opportunity we have here. The people of Adams and York counties depend on us to get the information out there, and no matter how much flack we get, we come in every day and want to do our best. 

Check out what our Evening Sun staff thinks on the topic: 581752_10151596045088549_582763129_n

Jenni Wentz (Gettysburg Reporter): “As a journalist, I feel like it’s my job to find out about the topics my audience wants to hear about, whether it’s something serious as a drug problem or something as mundane as someone with a unique interest or hobby. Ultimately, I’m not reporting for me; I’m reporting for the Evening Sun’s readers. I consider a story to be a success if I can help even just one person with it.”

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Mark Walters (Adams County Reporter): “I love what I do and I have a refreshing feeling of self worth and satisfaction at the end of every day. And to me, that is more important than having a large bank account. I have friends who make a lot more money than me but will admit that they pretty much hate what they do everyday. They have joked that they are not as passionate about anything in their lives as I am to my job. And that makes me feel good. They don’t understand how I can be so into “work.” I don’t understand how they can drag themselves to something they hate every day for more money.”

Brandon Stoneburg (Breaking News Reporter): “My favorite thing to write about is when a 1012141_10203434669489718_1767506040_ncommunity comes together for one of their own. An example would be how the community donated thousands of dollars and rooms full of clothes to displaced fire victims. Another would be the outpouring of support for a little girl fighting through serious heart conditions. It sounds cheesy but those uplifting stories that bring hope are the most fulfilling to do. Everyone would like to be paid more, but you have to be realistic. I get paid to do something I love to do everyday, so I can’t complain.”

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Lauren Linhard (Hanover Reporter): “I’m not going to sit here and tell you what I do is easy. Loving your job doesn’t make it easy. Every day is still a challenge, but it’s one you dare yourself to be brave enough to handle and do the best job possible. I always knew I was a writer and I count myself lucky every time I use that talent to make a difference – which is every day.”

 

&n

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‘Ch- ch- ch- ch- changes’

As a loyal reader of ours, you may have noticed some new bylines gracing the pages — both print and web — of The Evening Sun.

In case you have not noticed, they are: Jennifer Wentz, Brandon Stoneburg and Lauren Linhard. And in case you were wondering, they are strong journalists with their own unique knacks for reporting your local news.

With less than 10 months working at The Sun, I am now the senior reporter on staff. In my short tenure here, our newsroom has evolved a great deal. But I assure you, we have only grown stronger.
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Sun Staff: Reporter Jenni Wentz

To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer sessions will be posted on our blog. Today, meet Gettysburg reporter Jenni Wentz

Name: Jenni WentzNEWS THE EVENING SUN -- CLARE BECKER
Lives in: York, Pa.
Hometown: Lancaster, Pa.
Position at The Evening Sun: Gettysburg Reporter
Years with The Evening Sun: Two months
Graduated from: Gettysburg College
With a degree in: English
Twitter: @jenni_wentz

1. What made you want to become a journalist? I enjoy seeing the behind-the-scenes aspects of a town, whether that’s through its government, its businesses or everyday people who work to make other people’s lives better.

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#Insidethesun: A behind-the-scenes look at the Evening Sun newsroom

FADE IN:

INT. THE EVENING SUN NEWSROOM – NIGHT

A JOURNALIST sits at a desk covered in documents, photographs and cups of coffee that are half-empty (because we’re all so cynical). He quickly but carefully types the final additions to a breaking news drug-bust story. His fedora hat covers part of his face, but you can still see one eye as it darts from his computer screen to his notebook as he double checks the facts.

EDITOR
(Voice Over, yelling)
Where’s that copy? We should have set the page 10 minutes ago!

For the briefest of seconds, the journalist pauses to look at the clock on the wall. It’s 9:56 p.m., four minutes from deadline.

REPORTER
Almost done!

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Go inside the NewsVroom

For those who don’t know about the NewsVroom, it’s kind of like a classroom on wheels. Journalists from the York Daily Record/Sunday News and The Evening Sun jump behind the wheel so locals can get a better understanding of how we get information out to the community.

Since I started working at The Evening Sun more than a year ago, I’ve seen the NewsVroom out and about several times: at fairs around York City, at How to Get it Published seminars around York and Adams counties and at the three-day kickoff event in Hanover.

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Thoughtful letters and a gift from across the state

The generosity of a fifth-grade Sunday school class in Berwick reached Hanover this week.

The Berwick students read an ‘Everyday Hero’ piece on little Violet Martin and sent a hand-decorated quilt and hand-made ‘get well soon’ cards to the Evening Sun office to pass along to the Martin family. It was a sweet, uplifting gesture that was gratefully appreciated by Violet and her parents.

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Sun Staff: Meet editor Katy Petiford

To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer sessions will be posted on our blog. Today, meet assistant metro editor Katy Petiford.

Name: Katy PetifordNEWS THE EVENING SUN -- CLARE BECKER
Lives in: York, Pa.
Hometown: Ridgefield, Conn.
Position at The Evening Sun: Assistant Metro Editor
Years with The Evening Sun: About 15 months. I started December 2012.
Graduated from: University of Vermont
With a degree in: Art history
Twitter: @kpetiford

1. What made you want to become a journalist? I took a News Writing Across the Media class in college and it changed my life in the best way possible. I started writing for the school paper and I’ve been hooked on news and the fast-paced lifestyle that comes with it ever since.

2. If you weren’t a journalist, what type of career would you pursue?  Actor, TV/film producer

3. What do you like most about your job? I love organization, making lists and coming up with creative story ideas — all of which I get to do as an editor. The least? The hours. I work nights, which limits what I can do in the afternoons and evenings.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Thinking about how I should probably eventually go to the gym.

5. What’s the strangest thing on your desk? A thimble with an image of the Manneken Pis from Brussels. Why is it there? A mentor gave it to me as an inside joke. It makes me laugh when I’m having a hard day.

6. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: @Theeveningsun. Obviously.

7. What’s your favorite movie/Book/TV show?
Movie: “Titanic”
Book: Harry Potter! But if I had to pick one — “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Not including HP, “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho.
TV Show: I can’t get enough of “Veronica Mars” or “The West Wing.”

8. What’s one of your favorite hobbies? Acting, Harry Potter fan and cupcake enthusiast.

9. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? Refer. It’s pronounced RE-fer and it reminds me of a scene from “Super Troopers” (littering and…littering and…). The first time former Evening Sun editor Marc Charisse told me to “put a refer bug” in a story, it sounded so ridiculous that I thought he was joking. Apparently it’s a thing in the newspaper world.

(Editor’s note: In print, a refer is a box inside a story that directs readers to a different, but related article in the same issue. It could also indicate where people could go online to get more information.)

Meet news clerk Arlene Little
Meet reporter Adam Michael
Meet reporter Brandon Stoneburg
Meet assistant metro editor Katy Petiford
Meet reporter Lauren Linhard
Meet reporter Mark Walters
Meet photographer Shane Dunlap

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Archive: Understanding legal jargon

To help readers who may have trouble with the legal jargon in court stories, Evening Sun reporter Mark Walters will be putting together a terms-you-need-to-know list.

Every week, he’ll add a new word to the list, using articles to show how the word is used in a sentence. Click on a word below to see the related blog post.

Allegedly
Concurrent
Consecutive
Magisterial district justice (judge)
Post conviction relief
Pro se

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Understanding legal jargon: Magisterial district justice

To help readers who may have trouble with the legal jargon in court stories, Evening Sun reporter Mark Walters will be putting together a terms-you-need-to-know list. Every week, he’ll add a new word to the list, using articles to show how the word is used in a sentence. 

Magisterial district justice (judge): A magisterial district justice, also known as a judge, presides over civil and criminal matters at the lowest level of the Pennsylvania court system, according to the Pennsylvania Courts communications office.

The elected public official was always known as “magisterial district justice” until 2004, when the court changed it to “magisterial district judge,” said Art Heinz, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Courts.

Typically, these judges preside over misdemeanor criminal cases and civil claims involving $12,000 or less, Heinz said. Their designated territories are based on population, geography and caseload inventory. The state Supreme Court establishes the judges’ boundaries.

Magistrates, as they are known colloquially, can set bail in non-capital cases, Heinz said, noting that most people come into contact with magisterial judges when they are facing traffic-related charges.

Unlike other judges in Pennsylvania, magistrates are not required to be attorneys, Heinz said. They are elected to six-year terms and are permitted to run for re-election when their terms expire. Other judges, such as those on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, serve 10-year terms and run in retention elections, which are simply “yes” or “no” votes on ballots, Heinz said.

There are approximately 530 magisterial district judges in Pennsylvania, Heinz said. There are four in Adams County and 19 serving York County.

And while magistrates serve all over the state, Heinz noted they do not serve Philadelphia. The City of Brotherly Love is served by municipal courts, which act the same as magistrates.

Heinz said westward migration of Pennsylvania’s growth created the difference in court systems.

“It’s just kind of the way the state evolved,” he said. “It created some differences you won’t find elsewhere in the state. But the functions are the same.”

Magisterial district judges have to be 21 years old to run for office and they must reside in the area they represent.

And all magistrates earn $86,899, regardless of tenure or location, Heinz said.

Check out the latest court cases filed in District Magistrate Judge Tony Little’s office in Reading Township in the Evening Sun’s district justice records.

See the full list of legal jargon here.
Have a piece of legal jargon you want Mark to address? Email him at mwalters@eveningsun.com. 

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Sun Staff: Reporter Brandon Stoneburg

To help you get to know our newsroom staff a bit better, a series of question-and-answer sessions will be posted on our blog. Today, meet Breaking news/cops reporter Brandon Stoneburg.

Name: Brandon StoneburgJuU9L_9u
Lives in: York, Pa.
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Position at The Evening Sun: Breaking News/Cops Reporter
Years with The Evening Sun: Roughly three weeks
Graduated from: Temple University
With a degree in: Journalism
Twitter: @B_Stoneburg

1. What made you want to become a journalist? In high school, I quickly learned I wasn’t going to be good enough to play professional sports. So, I decided to at least do something that could get me paid to talk and write about sports. Eventually, sports writing transitioned into news writing.

2. If you weren’t a journalist, what type of career would you pursue? When I was little, I wanted to either be a weatherman or a pro basketball player, so one of those probably. (Most likely the weather one)

3. What do you like most about your job? That there are certain things that people didn’t know until I told them. I love being able to tell someone a new fact or a new story, even in everyday life. So, breaking news is a pretty good position for that.
The least? Waking up when it’s still dark.

4. It’s 9:30 a.m. on a day off. What are you doing? Sleeping. Or watching SportsCenter or re-runs of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

5. What’s been your favorite project or story recently? I did an “Everyday Hero” story on a 1-year-old girl who has overcome tougher odds in her early life than most people have in a lifetime. Why? It was inspirational and touching. Sports doesn’t always give you an opportunity to write about such emotional topics like that, so it meant a lot to me to be able to share her story.

6. What’s the strangest thing on your desk? A miniature Maryland flag. Why is it there? Because I’m a Marylander and we’re admittedly obsessed with our flag.

7. Your favorite journalism-related blog you read or Twitter feed you follow: @andersoncooper….He’s the man. He does it all and he does it right.

8. What’s your favorite movie/Book/TV show?
“Independence Day”
“Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper”
“The Wire”

9. What’s one of your favorite hobbies? Playing basketball, going to sporting events, grilling/learning how to grill and cook, watching movies

10. What’s one piece of newsroom jargon that had to be explained to you? A deck. No, it’s not where you grill in warm weather, it’s the sentence or two under the headline explaining the story. (It can also be called a subhead.)

Get to know the staff at The Evening Sun
Meet news clerk Arlene Little
Meet reporter Adam Michael
Meet reporter Lauren Linhard
Meet reporter Mark Walters
Meet photographer Shane Dunlap

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