As a military news reporter, I’ve learned fine art of perseverance

C-17 landing
A C-17 landing

Since writing for The Ranger and the Northwest Airlifter (two local newspapers covering military news associated with Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state) starting last May, I’ve learned a lot about what our brave men and women do on a daily basis.

Prior to writing for the Northwest Military publications, I’ve had very little exposure to the inner-workings and the litany of acronyms associated with the Armed Forces, outside of reading the comic books series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero.

So the learning curve has been steep for me. Coming from a non-military background, my access to the base is limited and also my finesse at cracking the code of public affairs officers has some room for improvement.

Recently, I reported on a story about the proposed plan to refurbish the existing runway at the Yakima Training Center in eastern Washington that would accommodate resuming landing and training exercises for the C-17 cargo plane.

It took all my might and all my perseverance to finally connect with the PAOs and get something adequate enough to fill a story.

My efforts produced a short, 250-word piece. Not quite the 600 words my editor originally assigned me, but he revised his original estimate and told me to get him as much as I can on the topic.

More often than not, writing a military piece can feel at times like “Mission Impossible.” But when I finally connect with the right sources, get solid information, and complete my story and to my editor on deadline, the payoff is very rewarding.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s