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Reflections

A roller coaster experience

Participating in NPR’s Next Generation Radio this week was a fun roller coaster. Some moments seemed to pass by so quickly, while others seemed to be long and quiet. I’m happy to have worked alongside many caring and talented people in the journalism industry. I was able to peer into the professional world of journalism and find that there are people who are rooting for you. There are so many in the media who want to propel you forward. Lastly, I was able to learn what it is like to work on a project with a lot of people.

After starting the week off with Brenda Salinas’s presentation, I felt welcomed and safe. I never thought I would be listening to someone encourage me to leave a job that I didn’t feel safe in or important at, especially in the journalism industry. My mentor Cintia also helped me to understand that every one of our experiences help lead us to the next step in our lives, good or bad. It was amazing to feel safe and encouraged to keep chugging along on a journalism career path.

To be completely honest, working with a large team on a project, virtually, was tricky. It made me miss the in-person connection even more; yet I am still grateful. I oversee three journalists at the moment, and am managed by one person. We are an extremely small team compared to this project. This process of working with so many others taught me a lot about myself, and I am so excited to apply my new skills of collaboration with my team. I’m also very excited to know that I have made many awesome connections with again, people who want to propel me forward.

After this week, I am taking inspiration and motivation to keep doing what I am doing as a young journalist. I’m taking inspiration from my mentor Cintia and her journey from being a mentee in this program to becoming a journalist at CapRadio. I’m taking inspiration from the solutions journalism presentation to improve my stories that focus on underserved and marginalized communities. I’ve got my new knowledge in Adobe Audition thanks to Selena. One of my favorite things that I am taking away from this experience is Brenda’s welcoming and comforting presentation on boundaries and looking out for yourself. 

Stepping into a project like NextGen was an eye-opening experience, and is one that I honor. 

Things I would have done differently:

I wish I would have spent more time on social-media promotion. Luckily, the opportunity for me to share my story will never go away, but the next story that I write, I will absolutely make time to promote. 

Melissa Franco

By Melissa Franco

Melissa Franco is a student at Sacramento City College, where she is double-majoring in film studies and journalism and minoring in child development. Currently she manages a youth-led nonprofit media program under Access Sacramento for young journalists in Sacramento County and works for the YMCA of Superior California. Previously she worked for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento and the YMCA of the East Bay, where she taught teens and middle-schoolers about filmmaking and art.

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