UA student journalist talks changes in reporting due to COVID-19

From the WRBL Internship Assignment Desk

This story was produced as part of the WRBL 2020 Summer Intern program

(Photo courtesy Jeffrey Kelley, Jr.)

COVID-19 has changed the way we do things all over the world. One of Tuscaloosa’s Crimson White Newspaper journalists Jeffrey Kelley, Jr. has had to change up some of his work habits to maintain social distancing.

Kelley is an English major at The University of Alabama. He has been writing for about three years, he spends most of his free time writing, for his own pleasure as well as for his classes, and Master of Fine Arts application.

He began writing in high school for his high school’s newspaper as a hobby. After transferring to Alabama his sophomore year, he began working for the Crimson White as a contributing writer. Kelley realized after working for the CW that writing is what he wants to do as his career.   

Kelley says, he is motivated to write because no matter if he’s doing it to entertain or inform, he’s always telling a story.

“As a journalist at The University of Alabama, I write because there are so many voices and stories that need to be told, and as an English major I write because I have my own story to tell,” Kelley said.

Kelley is currently the assistant Culture Editor for the Crimson White, a contributing writer for Alice Magazine, and a contributing writer for the Luna Collective Magazine.

Since the pandemic and the school semester ending at home, Kelley feels all over the place. He has been having trouble with time management and feels like everything is off schedule, while working hard to still do interviews for both Alice Magazine and the Crimson White.

While being on lock-down, Kelley thinks his writing skills have evolved. He now has time to focus on writing and think about his future plans with it and has gained more confidence in writing.

As a writer he wants to grow and write stories that he is proud of.

“Still at times I do get sad to write about sensitive topics such as the worldwide pandemic topics, because the nation is going through so much turmoil, but the stories still need to be told,” said Kelley.

Kelley says sometimes has to take a step away from writing and give himself time to think to process what’s happening not as a writer but as a human, so he isn’t overwhelmed. Kelley still second guesses his writing and looks over things multiple times to perfect his work.

After school, Kelley plans on getting his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. He is open to work in the publishing or magazine industry and hopes to work for a company like “Teen Vogue” or something similar.

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