Faithanna Olsson
Faithanna Olsson sits with her "Journalist in progress" mug in the NonDoc Media newsroom on Friday, May 10, 2024. (NonDoc)

When I was little, I could be found hiding behind the couch playing a spy game and dreaming of an exciting future working for a three-letter agency of the United States.

My first solution for satisfying this early curiosity involved obtaining a security clearance to rifle through whatever documents I wanted to see while investigating current criminal cases. The catch with that career choice, however, was that the secrets would remain secret, and I would just be one more person responsible for keeping it that way.

But what about the other kids, like me, checking out every library book on Area 51 they could find because they had questions? Who would find them answers?

As seeds of doubt grew in place of my childhood aspirations, I wondered what I should pursue instead. After entering high school, I sat down on the same couch I used to hide behind and asked my mom what I should do. Since both of us knew I felt a pull to use my writing skills for something, she recommended journalism. I took her suggestion and ran with it.

My first step toward becoming a reporter involved finding a university that would teach me the trade. Oklahoma Christian University became my training ground, and I quickly found my place on the campus newspaper, The Talon. I’ve been delighted to discover that in choosing journalism I had not abandoned my desire to solve mysteries. I simply found I could solve them with words and share the answers publicly.

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Uncovering the little mysteries

A college campus can be filled with all kinds of little mysteries, from why the cafeteria no longer has disposable cups to why all the librarians were let go. Because journalists often must answer the question “why” when reporting stories, we often end up investigating the motives of authority figures. Working at the student newspaper while studying and observing the journalism industry, I have learned the importance a truly free press can have on a community, and I am honored to ask important questions and share the answers.

But sometimes the answers are hard to find. Area 51 keeps its gates locked, the documents are sealed, and the sources won’t talk. However tough a question may be, I’ve embraced a mantra that all questions deserve answers.

This summer, as I embark on an editorial internship with NonDoc, I will be obtaining answers about local elections so that Oklahomans can cast their votes with more information and more confidence. I am excited to participate in providing easily accessible information about local government. As 1 Corinthians 13:6 says of love, “It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.” As I get to work with and learn from the professional journalists at NonDoc, I want to see the truth win out in Oklahoma.

A mug sits on my desk with the slogan “Journalist in progress” to remind me that I am always learning. From interviewing the governor’s chief of staff to starting this internship at NonDoc, these key moments will help me develop into the journalist I aspire to be.

I am thrilled to learn under the seasoned staff at NonDoc and share my journalistic experiences. Here is to the beginning of a summer filled with stories far better than what my past self could have ever dreamed.

(Editor’s note: NonDoc’s paid summer internship program is supported financially by the Inasmuch Foundation Community Fellowship, which funds internships each year in a variety of sectors, including Oklahoma journalism.)

Faithanna Olsson is conducting a summer editorial internship with NonDoc in 2024. She is a senior at Oklahoma Christian University majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. She has been a reporter for OC's campus newspaper, The Talon, for three years and is set to serve as editor in chief for the 2024-2025 academic year.