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OPINION: Journalism needs a new generation of young reporters

To the Editor: As a Mitchell High School alum and a former staffer of the Kernel, I commend the the Daily Republic in its role as a community newspaper in helping save The Kernel. I would not have my career in journalism today if it wasn't for th...

To the Editor:

As a Mitchell High School alum and a former staffer of the Kernel, I commend the the Daily Republic in its role as a community newspaper in helping save The Kernel.

I would not have my career in journalism today if it wasn't for the decision I made in the spring of 1997 to take the newspaper course that fall.

Like many high school students at the time, I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I knew I loved sports and I wanted to do something with sports. I pondered the idea of being an athletic trainer or an architect that designs stadiums. But that fall I started covering sports for the Kernel and heading over to coach Gary Munsen's SRB to interview Mike (Skinny) Miller about the Kernels' game the night before.

By the time my junior year at MHS ended, I knew this is what I wanted to do. The decision to join the Kernel led me to pursue a journalism degree from the University of Arizona. It led me to experience many different opportunities in my career, from interviewing baseball hall of famers, Randy Johnson, Joe Torre and Mike Piazza, who will be enshrined this weekend in Cooperstown, to interviewing Tiger Woods and covering a Bernie Sanders presidential rally.

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The Kernel was the foundation for my career. The skills I learned as a Kernel staffer are skills I use today, writing, photography and layout and page design.

Is the journalism industry changing? Yes. Will the newspaper go by the wayside like the pay phone? Maybe. But whatever the future holds for journalism, we need a new generation of reporters and photographers who are going to go out and tell the stories of our community. Stories like the World War II veteran, who was on a ship in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese formally surrender, and at 89 years old, still golfs and hits hole-in-ones despite losing one eye to glaucoma. We need journalists who are going to hold government officials accountable and report on wasteful spending of tax dollars.

As the Daily Republic's editorial stated on Wednesday, if your child loves to write, loves to take photographs or has an interest in graphic design, then have them take advantage of this great opportunity. Even if being a journalist is not your child's thing, there are so many different career opportunities out there that skills learned from the Kernel will help them.

And who knows, they may find their calling in life too.

Rodney Haas

MHS 1999

Phoenix, Arizona

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