As someone still new to journalism, I feel like I’m continually working to understand the dynamics of being in a room as a reporter. What is my authority? What is my obligation? What is appropriate? What is my relationship to these people? Especially these very experienced people?
Sitting in on a meeting of the Board of Curators was one of the first situations that I felt very aware of my status as a reporter — and also one as student-reporter, as surely everyone in the room knew the Missourian was a student-run paper. I didn’t ever feel uncomfortable, but I felt very aware of myself, and my presence. I’m not exactly sure why, or what will change in the future, but it was an interesting experience.
It was also fascinating to witness the congratulatory nature of a governing board. Everything in the room felt spun to some extent — there was no bad news, every misstep, was still a step, and one in the right direction at that.
All of this, though, I’m not sure I realized in the moment. Which I think speaks back to the dynamic in the room. I was, to some extent, intimidated, and so I didn’t ask any good questions after the meeting. I likely wrote the story they were hoping would be written — not that I even know there was another story to be written, since I didn’t do all the work I likely could have, in retrospect.