Home > Baseball, editing > High school exercise fosters career for Patricia Mish

High school exercise fosters career for Patricia Mish

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Emma Olson

JOUR 201

Quick. Write down one sentence describing the scene at the finish of the state qualifying track meet.

Twenty heads drop to their notebooks and scribble out the first thing that comes rushing to mind.

This was how Patricia Mish found her love for journalism.

Patricia Mish is the managing editor for Faith Grand Rapids a magazine run by the Catholic diocese in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The magazine is a mix of marketing for the church with stories and news. Overall, its angled to connect people with Jesus and help Catholics become more engaged with their parish community. The publication runs every month and is available at http://www.dioceseofgrandrapids.org/multimedia/pages/faithgr.aspx#.VmhzObQk_0s

As a child, Mish enjoyed reading newspapers and following the Cubs box scores in the Chicago Sun Times.

Mish found her passion for journalism when she was in high school at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette, Illinois. She was inspired by her teacher in a basic journalism class. The teacher would describe an event to the class and they would have to write a lede for the story quickly. Mish loved following the news and became the news editor for the school newspaper as well as the editor for the yearbook.

Mish said, “All the President’s Men” came out around the same time she took interest in journalism therefore the movie most likely influenced her interest in the career. She said she was attracted to journalism due to “the excitement of chasing a story, being on the scene of a major event, and deadline pressure”.

Her first journalism job outside of her high school publications was a reporting intern for the Jordan Independent, a tiny community newspaper in a largely rural community south of the Twin Cities.http://www.swnewsmedia.com/jordan_independent/

“I wanted to be a news reporter for a major metropolitan daily,” Mish said.

Her dream job within the field was to be a reporter at a major newspaper. However, that dream has now changed to covering the Chicago Cubs for MLB.com or the Chicago Tribune.

Mish starts out each day checking her email like everyone else. She makes sure she is up to date on everything that is happening in the office and with stories before anything else. The rest of her day is spent assigning stories to writers and photographers, editing copy and working with designer to plan the magazine. Mish also spends a majority of her time planning content for future issues of the magazine.

The most taxing part of her job is planning. This is a large part of my job but however it isn’t my strong suit  she said.

“Trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to ask questions,” Mish said. Students who are just starting out often forget that we were all in their shoes at some point.

She said to remember to notice details when you’re interviewing a subject or reporting a story. Interviews should follow a conversation format instead of Q and A. Mish looks for lulls in conversation during an interview and suggests to let them happen. She said that is most often when subjects will open up.

“Always ask if they have anything to add,” Mish said. “Often subjects do and it can be good stuff.”

The best advice she was given when she was starting out, she still uses today. An editor told her early on,”You can’t be objective but you can be fair and balanced. Make sure all names in a story are spelled right.”

She used to have trouble writing stories about major events.

“An editor told me to put away my notes and just write what happened,” Mish said. “That helped move me off square one when I’d get stuck. Then go back and fill in the details and quotes.”

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