Why you should write for The Uniter

A note from the volunteer coordinator

Are you opinionated? Are you the one out of your friends who always seems to know what’s going on? Do you find yourself staying up late night after night, keeping up with current events? Well, look no further.

The Uniter is looking for volunteers to write for its Arts and Culture, News and Comments sections. And no, you don’t really need to be a news addict or have a degree in rhetoric or English. You don’t even need experience as a writer.

All you need to do is to come out to our first volunteer orientation on Sept. 16 and maybe bring a pen.

Volunteering is a great way to build up your portfolio. Even if you don’t think you want to do journalism later, any work that gets published at the The Uniter stays available online, and it’s a great thing to whip out for potential employers. Plus, writing for The Uniter is a great way to learn about the city, go to events and connect with people.

A year ago, I started volunteering for The Uniter. Honestly? I was terrified. I had never done an interview and writing an article was a foreign concept. I went to my first interview shaking, but when I left, I realized that I had fun. When I started writing, I didn’t know what reporting was all about. A year later, it’s my job and I love it.

Even though I was painfully shy (and still am), everyone at The Uniter  helped me start out and it was the first real step to my career. Don’t get me wrong, university is great. But volunteering for The Uniter taught me more about what I want to do than anything else.

Writing is also something you might want in your toolbox for a huge variety of other jobs. Or it might be a fun thing to do every now and then.

Whatever the case, The Uniter is a learning paper, and the staff is here to help with everything from conducting interviews to finding stories.

This year we’ll be focusing more on news and we need folks who like the sound of covering city events, exploring new businesses and meeting people who are making things happen downtown. With the election issue coming up, our writers and volunteers will be busy talking to the candidates.

If you’ve ever thought about giving writing a try – just do it! The Uniter staff are here to give you feedback and work on things that might seem intimidating. If the idea of calling up a stranger and asking them questions makes your palms sweat, don’t worry, you’re in good company. And if it doesn’t, even better.

We need you, and your stories! And your opinions and fresh-faced wisdom. We’ll even look at photos of your cat if you come by the office. We love cats.

For more info about volunteering, shoot me an email at volunteer@uniter.ca, or come to our first volunteer orientation on Sept. 16 at 12:30 p.m. in ORM14 in the Bulman Centre on the main campus. Volunteer orientations will take place every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

Published in Volume 70, Number 1 of The Uniter (September 10, 2015)

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