What I've learned so far

By DeeAnna Haney | Jun 28, 2012


As the designated “breaking news” reporter and the rookie of the newsroom, I never know what to expect from my workday when I wake up in the morning. Most people who live here usually laugh and ask if I ever have anything exciting to write about. The truth is, there’s always something to write about.

In the past 10 months since I started working here I’ve been to the scene of a high speed chase that ended in a suicide, seen a rock slide on the parkway, been to multiple house fires and taken pictures of countless wrecks.

I rode along with a highway patrol officer late into the night, stood at driving while impaired checkpoints and watched as criminals stood before a jury deciding their fate.

Just this week I had to climb a ladder to the rooftops in Canton in my high heels, watched a helicopter airlift a lightning strike victim off the Parkway and took pictures of a giant bee hive at a local building.

I spend my days looking over police arrests and search warrants, talking with emergency personnel, listening to a scanner and hanging out at police departments trying to get some insight on crime and mayhem in Haywood County.

Journalism school prepares writers for the technical aspects of the job, but it certainly didn’t prepare me for a lot of what I have experienced here at the Mountaineer.

No one told me how difficult it is to build a trustworthy relationship with sources and even readers. I never learned basic criminal law or how police departments work. Coming into this job I new nothing about the court system, which I must admit, still intimidates me.

But it seems like every article brings a new lesson.

I now know to keep snacks in my glove compartment, an umbrella in my office and in my car and always an extra pair of flat shoes nearby – you never know when you will have to literally run to a story. I also have learned there are some pretty extraordinary people right here in our community.

I’ve learned so much since I started this job and I’m sure there are plenty more lessons coming my way. But the nature of never knowing what I’ll be writing about or experiencing next is pretty exciting.

My job may not be glamorous, but it’s interesting – even in little old Haywood County.