Journalist Shares Job Experiences


By Jerome Linear

Ethnic and Cultural Affairs reporter, Linsey Dower talks to Pinion journalists regarding her career.

Dominic Niyo, assistant editor

Linsey Dower is an ethnic cultural affairs reporter for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and a member of Report for America. As part of her community service for RFA, she has decided to volunteer her time with The Pinion’s staff every Thursday.
Dower’s journey as a journalist began when she was struggling to find the right path in college. A good friend recommended journalism as a career, and since she loved writing, she decided to try it out.
“After I realized what good I could do, it really inspired me to keep going,” Dower said.
As Dower continued to pursue this path, she then started taking journalism internships. The second internship she took was for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. When a new job opening became available at the Star-Advertiser, her supervisor recommended her for the position. This new job opportunity also included work with Report for America.
“I think being in the right place at the right time and putting yourself in good opportunities speaks to the value of doing as many internships as you can, because you may never know where it would take you,” Dower said.
Being a journalist often takes a lot of time to get used to. For some, it may be doing too much research or being overwhelmed by the amount of work. But for Dower, the most challenging part of her job is interviewing.
“It takes a lot of time to focus, for sure. Going up to strangers asking questions isn’t something that came naturally to me and it still is something that I’m currently working on,” Dower said.
As all jobs contain advantages and disadvantages, Dower said that the most rewarding aspect of her job is being able to serve her community. She believes that giving people more representation can improve her community.
“For me, the goal is to report on under-represented communities. I want to help these communities voice their opinions and help them share their thoughts,” Dower said.
Dower said the most common misconception of journalism is that, since journalists like to talk and ask questions, they think reporters are outgoing and extroverted.
“I believe that you can still gather sources and information, while being an introvert,” Dower said. “You can still have a pretty successful career.”
One story that Dower has covered that impacted her life the most was the docking of Hōkūleʻa, a nationally renowned story consisting of Tahitian sailors sailing a three month voyage across the Pacific Ocean by canoe.
“Being able to experience the culture and talking to some of the people involved was really just an amazing experience. I really did my best to contribute to the emotion and the spirit,” Dower said.
As a professional journalist, Dower’s goal with The Pinion for this year is to inspire students to join the journalism work-force. She hopes to be a professional guide to student journalists in the media industry, as well as helping them explore other career paths.
“I want to help these students find out if journalism is the right pathway for them and if it’s not, at least they gained some experience from it,” Dower said. “I really hope to support these student journalists in achieving their wildest dreams.”