Well, it’s officially the start of my fourth week here at the Evening Sun, and what a few weeks it has been.
Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Kieran Coffey. I am the new crime and quality of life reporter here at the Evening Sun. Hopefully by the time you get to the end of this blog post, (if you can make it that far, that is), you will learn a little bit about me and what I plan to do in my role for the community.
My heritage comes from the Emerald Isle. Both of my parents immigrated to the U.S. back in 1984, in search of the elusive American Dream. Flash forward nine more years and I was born. We settled down in Whitestone, Queens, a suburb outside New York City. Due to extenuating circumstances, I was forced to move to Ireland when I was eight years old, where I lived with my aunt and uncle. This change would prove crucial in my development as an individual. While at first, it was hard for me to adjust to the culture and new surroundings, I quickly became accustomed to my new school, and started to make friends. What was only supposed to be a two week situation turned into a journey of eight years. I’m glad that I was fortunate enough to be able to experience two different ways of living. It provided me with a great sense of diversity.
When I was 16, the time came for me to move back to the U.S. By this time, my mom had grown tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, and moved towards the hills of Norwich. When I first arrived, the feelings of fear and anxiety came flooding back. I had to enter a new school all over again, making new friends somehow. I was extremely shocked and pleasantly surprised by the wonderful hospitality that I received when I eventually started in Norwich High School, and I can safely say that I made the most out of my two years there.
After this journey, it was off to college. With my car packed to bursting, I moved all my belongings once more. At this stage, I wasn’t even phased about adapting to a whole new environment. Over 5 years, I transferred school’s three times, until I finally ended up at SUNY Oswego. I stayed there for the final three years of my education, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. Oswego offered me the chance to get a degree from one of the top journalism schools in the country, and also provided me with the tools and experiences that I can utilize in the working world. In my final semester at Oswego, I was the pledge master of my fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon. While I will admit, it was much added stress on top of my already staunch workload, it gave me a terrific example of leadership.
Graduating college and starting a real reporting job just a week later, I had no idea what to really expect. Starting with my first day on the job, I got a taste of real action. As I was sitting in on my first County Court session, a robbery was taking place about 20 miles down the road, in Edmeston. Rushing back to the office, fellow reporter Cameron and I raced out in search of the culprit. We searched the area, but could find no trace of the suspect. However, the sheer exhilaration of the chase was enough to enthrall me.
That was the defining moment when I learned that college cannot prepare you for the reality of real time reporting. You are not just sitting in a classroom, being lectured, with daily assignments to turn in. Rather, you are exploring the community, scouring out the prime news stories of the day, and building connections in the locality. I couldn’t have envisioned what being a reporter truly entails.
If the rest of my reporting days are just as fulfilling as my first few weeks have been, then I know that I picked the right career for me. I hope that I can continue to provide you, the community, with quality reporting.
You can contact me a number of ways: