Columns & Blogs

Kamiakin senior enjoyed walking in our shoes

My father once told me he dreaded going to work every day the last fiveyears before he retired.

But he knew he had to help put food on the table.

That always made an impression on me, and I always told myself I’d get a jobthat I loved to go to every day.

I’ve been lucky in that aspect, in that I’ve been with the Tri-City Heraldthe past 24 years. And even though our industry is struggling, our pay andbenefits have been cut, some of our good friends have been forced out of thebusiness, when all things are said and done, I still love the job.

When I have my doubts, it’s nice to get an outsider’s view.

Kamiakin High School senior Alex Dissing need to job shadow someone for his seniorproject. Our sports staff enjoys taking high schoolers along for the ride,because we know they’re interested — and the kids give up one of theirvaluable Friday or Saturday nights to come along. We appreciate that.

So here’s Alex’s take on what we do:

“When my journalism teacher told me that I should consider job shadowing atthe Tri-City Herald, I didn’t know what to think.

Sure, I wanted to see how all of the sports writers went about theirbusiness. But I was a little overwhelmed at the same time.

In the previous summer, I had job-shadowed in Waitsburg as a part of mysenior culminating project.

Turns out, all of the hours that I had put in (around 40) didn’t count, andI had to start all over again.

After pouting and whining about this for a while, I decided to get back inthe saddle. Next thing you know, I’m knocking on the door of the closedTri-City Herald begging to be let in.

I knew after the first night of job shadowing (which turned out to be a lateone) that it wasn’t going to be as bad as I previously thought.

The typical night for me with the Herald sports staff consisted of me beingfed, getting into basketball games for free, attempting to keep score of thegame that I attended (and failing miserably), and — last but not least — mehaving a good time with all of the guys.

I ended up clocking in at an enjoyable 23 hours with the Herald.

I am very thankful for the wonderful hospitality that I received while thereand am very appreciative of the fact that I was treated just as if I waspart of the staff.

Attending all the games and seeing them through a sports writer’s eyes wasan experience that I will never forget.

In a way, I’m glad I had to start my job-shadowing hours all over again. All the things that I learned and experienced at the Herald, well, wouldn’t have happened.

Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to answer some of the burning questions thatI had regarding journalism as a career.

What are the working hours? (Usually 4 p.m. to 1 a.m.)

Where should I attend college? (There are a number of good journalism schools in the Northwest).

What is the salary? (It varies by paper. But here, a kid out of college could make anywhere from $26,000 to$31,000 a year).

I was provided the answers to all of these questions and many more.

My most important discovery was, that in order to be a sports writer, youhave to enjoy what you are doing.

All of the members of the Herald sports staff enjoy what they’re doing andhave a passion for it.

Seeing this first-hand, up close and personal, increased the respect that Ihave for what these guys do that much more.”

Editor's note: Former Herald sports editor Hec Hancock always said this job beats heavylifting. He’s correct. It’s also fun, and that’s why our staff has stayedtogether for so many years — because we have fun. Alex Dissing reminded meof that.