Senior Column | DITV taught me what I didn’t want to do

Joining DITV showed me what I didn’t want to do in the future, and I will always be thankful for such an opportunity.


Contributed photo by Julia Richards

Julia Richards, Assistant DITV News Director and DITV Sports Reporter

At 16 years old, I was convinced I knew exactly what I wanted to do; I wanted to be a sideline reporter or a sports broadcaster of some sort and show the world that women belong in the sports industry. I couldn’t have been more wrong about my career choice.

I joined DITV during the second semester of my sophomore year, which also happened to be during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite DITV not operating as a traditional studio, I was determined to squeeze every ounce I could get out of an abnormal situation. I started covering the women’s basketball team in a very silent and empty Carver-Hawkeye Arena. I traveled to Indianapolis to cover the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. I was thrust into exactly what I thought I wanted to do. Why didn’t I feel fulfilled?

I thought maybe it might be the pandemic — that I wasn’t getting the full experience. That fall, when the world was shifting to a new normalcy, I covered a few football games. Down on the field, immersed in the action — this is what I had always dreamed of. Why wasn’t I satisfied?

I struggled for a long time trying to understand how I was feeling. It was hard to admit that sports broadcasting and broadcast journalism wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life anymore. I felt guilty for committing myself to an organization and group of people who felt so strongly about journalism when I just didn’t. I felt like a failure.

But then I realized this is the underlying purpose of DITV and The Daily Iowan. To give students unique opportunities in a space that allows them to learn, fail, and try again and again. To show students what they do and what they do not want to do in the future. Even though I came to the realization that I no longer desired a career in the journalism field, I knew the skills I was learning and developing at DITV were incredibly beneficial no matter what industry I would find myself in, so I stayed.

I am so happy I did because I wouldn’t have learned who I am and what I envision my life to look like beyond higher education if I hadn’t joined DITV. I want to thank Jason Brummond, Charles Munro, and Angie Looney for giving me and other students experiences of a lifetime that shape us into the seniors we are when we leave the studio. I also want to thank my staff for allowing me to stick around and learn what it means to manage a great group of ambitious and driven people. I truly owe so much to you all.

I may be entering a completely different profession and leaving the broadcast journalism world behind, but I will certainly be taking with me invaluable skills that will benefit me in my new career ventures. I’ve learned how important it is to communicate with others, to share stories, and most of all, to put myself out there and try new things, even if it means in the end I won’t stick with it.

DITV taught me what I don’t want to do. I will forever be thankful such a place allowed me to learn such a valuable life lesson.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.