The Pathfinder welcomes student reporter Ashly Alexander
January 3, 2019
SEELEY LAKE – The phone rang and on the other end was 16-year-old Swan Valley resident Ashly Alexander. She said she had a story that she really needed to get published to help warn other people her age about the dangers of the Internet.
Typically all students work with a Junior Journal coach but because she wanted it published that week, I agreed to work with her. By that evening I had the story which required very few edits. Her willingness to call, self-motivation and drive to produce a story on a deadline and responsiveness to edits led us to offer her a job as a student reporter.
Alexander moved to Utah and was homeschooled. She started writing short stories about mythical creatures and journaling. She decided she really enjoyed writing.
"I try to be careful with my words and use them powerfully," said Alexander. "I want to be able to reach out and grab the reader, whether it is trying to make them feel a certain emotion or visualize an action."
Alexander recently returned to the Swan Valley and is now a junior at Seeley-Swan High School.
"I wasn't interested in journalism when I wrote that first article because I thought it would turn my hobby into a job and if I felt pressured I'm not going to like it," said Alexander. "But once I was able to write my first journalism project [the SVES Harvest Carnival], I realized it is actually a lot of fun. I'm able to take the event and look at it from an unbiased perspective. It was kind of a cool experience."
Alexander enjoys being able to take an event and write about it and highlight things that either people didn't notice or for those who weren't able to attend. She also likes sharing information and bringing attention to it. Being a self-proclaimed introvert, interviewing is a challenge.
"The more I'm exposed to people, talking to them and interviewing them, I think the better I'm going to get at it and the more comfortable I'm going to feel with it," said Alexander.
While Alexander has never taken photographs of other people or tried to tell a story through photos, it has always been something that intrigued her. She looks forward to trying to capture an event or moment from a different view so others can experience it.
Alexander takes pride in being the youngest employee of the Pathfinder and is excited to bring a youthful perspective to the paper.
"Not too many people are able to get a journalism job this early in their lives," said Alexander. "I feel like having someone young minded, I'm able to look at things in a different perspective than an adult. I feel like I can bring my creative writing and my use of words and my naiveness."
Alexander enjoys school, learning, her classes and friends. When she is not in school, she keeps herself busy at home doing chores and playing action video games including Skyroom and Call of Duty.
"I'm really, really excited to get this experience. This experience is going to help me in my future so much because I actually like journalism," said Alexander. "Journalism is definitely a job that will always be there."