Marissa Huntsman

Photo by Chelsea Nicole Hart



A new student of the Department of Communication at the University of Utah, I began my first class in the major with some apprehension and unease. Recalling thoughts of “is there really journalism anymore in the world or is it all over?”

One source of constant struggles is to create stories that spark interest in a widely arranged audience but still reporting the news.

I began my ideas by focusing on my interests; after all there are many different aspects of journalism. One of my main interests regards teens and the legal system. My enterprise story mainly features methods used to combat teen drug use. This interest grew out of my own involvement during high school with the local police station and creating a group of students to regulate their peer’s actions.

I knew many of the administrators from my local high school whom I could potentially interview and also many at my hometown police station. However, I didn’t want to be limited by sticking with sources I knew prior to this class. An important aspect of the class was learning how to find and interview sources that you had no previous connection with. The most effective method I found was to combine email and voicemail. I started with sending an email to the desired source explaining my interest and requesting a period of time to conduct the interview. If the email went unanswered for 48 hours, I followed up by calling and leaving a voicemail due to the fact that police officers are rarely at their desks. I found this to be the most effective way in finding sources.


I am a strategic communication major set to graduate from the University of Utah in the Spring of 2013. A native to Utah and the oldest of three children, I have attended two other universities. The first was Southern Utah University and the latter was Utah Valley University. It was at SUU, during my involvement in Alpha Phi, a women’s fraternity, and SUU’s Student Association where I realized that the area of public relations and event planning were my main interests, not political science. The events that I have assisted with planning and executing include Welcome Week and Homecoming Week, activities for the entire student body at Southern Utah University.