WJI 2016 Blog - Day Ten - Smells, Stories and Spotlight

May 25, 2016

Ashley Bloemhof

Dordt College

If there’s one thing I love about stepping outside Sweet Peas every morning, it’s Asheville’s smell—a hint of cigarette smoke, a dash of pine and maple trees, a pinch of fried breakfast food. The unlikely trio makes for a delightful aroma. Pair that morning perfume with a healthy dose of sunny vitamin D and you’ve got yourself the quintessential North Carolina daybreak.


You may ask, “Can life be that good before 9 o’ clock?” It can when your day starts with steamed Yaupon Holly Tea, as mine did today. Thank you, Green Sage.

Today the class wrote articles based off of reports from the Associated Press. Lee Pitts emailed us our topics with a link to the AP articles we would reference. The moment I opened my email, I got excited: “GOODBYE, EMPTY NEST: MILLENNIALS STAYING LONGER WITH PARENTS.”

After everyone received their topic, we spent the next two hours reading our articles, researching, and setting up phone interviews. My heart raced as the tick of the clock played in the background. Lesson number 285 of WJI: Deadlines are like a tiger facing you through a bar fence—thrilling, and yet terrifying.

The class broke for an hour to snarf down deli sandwiches and salads while simultaneously nodding and laughing during a Skype call with WORLD writer Emily Belz. Emily used to live in DC and now works in New York.

Yes, please!

After inhaling our food, we flew back to our posts to conduct interviews and draft stories. My research captivated me: I wanted to tell my readers every detail about this millennial trend. I ultimately focused on the trend’s impact beyond U.S. borders, asking myself, “Are millennials in other countries more likely to live with parents than on their own?”

My findings? I can’t tell you. You’ll have to read the article.

The evening concluded with a showing of the movie “Spotlight.” When the end credits rolled, no one spoke. Once the awe wore off, we discussed the film and its importance in inspiring people to enter the journalism field. If you haven’t seen the movie, tonight is the night.

Watch it. Digest it. Break it down and realize that you too can tell the stories of the voiceless.

For more information:

World Journalism Institute