Learning to be sceptical

On her second week at The National, our Emirati trainee describes the lessons she has learnt.

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“Blessed are the sceptical” is how I would describe journalism.

In many ways we are like Doubting Thomas, the apostle in The Bible who refused to believe in the resurrection of Jesus until he personally had seen and felt Jesus’s wounds.

Journalists have to remain sceptical with everything around us, to question things and to be critical thinkers.

Now, going back to what I have been doing during the second week.

I had to work on two articles, and through that I got to experience what it’s like to meet the people involved in the story and to gain a better insight into what the person had been through.

Besides how else can I be inspired if I do not connect to the story?

I also had to manage my time when it comes to deadlines. It’s very hectic but this is what journalism’s all about.

I’m now seeing journalism through a different lens. I realised that writing a story is not necessarily the hardest part, it’s also about collecting the sources to create an article.

So, on my second week of work reporter Ayesha Al Khoori, my fellow trainee Elham Al Dhaheri and I went on a reporting mission to the Ewa’a women’s shelter. Now, that I have worked on reporting outside the office, I feel that this is only the beginning of journalism.

It is a whole new experience to be out there and witnessing the story of people just before our eyes. How awesome is that?

I was assigned by Ayesha to do the interview and to write the article with Elham, so to me this is my first duet work. In this process of learning, I slowly began to understand the ways of approaching people with questions, how to interview them, what to ask, where to emphasise.

The mission of outside reporting has given me a better sense on the working process.

It was a great change of scenery besides sitting in the office. Going out on a more practical job is something I like to do. Soon after the reporting mission, the girls and I went back to the office and worked on the article.

For all its worth, I think this week taught me to be more patient. Not only at my work, but outside of work.

Having to look for an apartment is something that is overlapping with some of my work. I can describe it as a back-breaking process having to try managing my time in and outside of work.

I’m not the first who has been through this process of moving to a new place and starting a new job and I won’t be the last. I also think this kind of experience is one of the most important processed for anyone who is growing up and heading into the outside world.

I have been living under my parents roof for all my life, free of responsibilities. Moving out has now made me more appreciative and aware of life’s processes. Balancing my time between my work and outside work is something I never expected to be doing.

But now I am growing, I am beginning to take charge of my life, my career and my dreams. I have many hopes to achieve in the future.

malshamsi@thenational.ae