Excuse me are you listening? 7-6
Sunday, April 13, 2008

Dear Readers,

      I want to share with you why we do the types of stories that we do.
    I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’m a journalist.  I thought since I didn’t go to school for journalism, I wasn’t a journalist. It’s sometimes hard when you work alone to get a grasp on what your role is and what you’re doing.
    I’d like to thank several people for providing me with encouragement and jewels of knowledge. I do need the entire support of the community too.
    Noelle Bowman, who used to work at the Lansing State Journal told me once that I was a good journalist and not to let anyone tell me any different.  I always thought of myself as a newspaper owner not a journalist.
    My husband, Frank has been very supportive.  My children, Gianni, 16; Anissa, 7; and Amir, 5; have grown up in journalism and “newspaperology” they love it.  My daughter recently told me that if I died, she would take over the newspaper.  I couldn’t wrap my thoughts around that concept but I’m finally understanding that we’re making an impact in people’s lives.
    Michigan State University’s Journalism Department’s Dr. Judi Brown Clarke, Bonnie Bucqueroux and  Jane Briggs-Bunting, Director of the School of Journalism have been so supportive that I wonder why I hadn’t sought them out sooner.
    Also Dr. Frank Ochberg, who so lovingly taught me about trauma and post traumatic stress in victims.  He encouraged me to write.
     My friend, Lisa Bond-Brewer, who helps me with editing from time to time.
     Our leading lady in this edition, Jasmine was a beautiful and bright young lady attending Waverly Middle School.  She  was a 13 year old student who attended Waverly whose life tragically ended when she was struck and killed by a car while walking home from school. As I spoke to her mother, I couldn’t help but to become so immersed in Ms. Miles and her family’s loss.
     My heart aches and I can’t even imagine.  As I write this I am listening to Marvin Sapp’s “I Never Would Have Made It” which Ms. Miles told me helped her get through her darkest hours.  Hours that most of us would not want to go through. 
   As the tears streamed down my face, my daughter came to me and asked me why I was crying.
    I told her I was happy and not sad.  I told her that through my job I learn things about people and I just met Ms. Miles who told me about this song and I wanted to hear it.
   I couldn’t keep it together.  Even though journalists are professionals it’s our job to bring accurate information to you.  Most importantly, we want to lead the community to worthwhile stories that allow us to teach.  We always try to make the best judgements but we some times complicate the experience.  We’re human.
    I’d like to hear your comments on “A Daughter’s Love Continue’s to Shine”.
   Please support the Miles family and their desire to educate the community about pedestrian safety.  Attend their events listed in the article or make a donation. 


Rina Risper


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