Against a cold brick wall in Paris, with an uzi pressed up against my neck’

Patsy K. Ziegler, an adjunct instructor of journalism at Sam Houston State University, talked about her the struggles she faced while writing for the Dallas Morning News and her experiences of writing for the Houston Chronicle.Ziegler did not always want to be in the field of journalism, originally she wanted to be a medical technician until she saw the sight of blood and fainted. She then wanted to be an archeologist and go to the University of Texas on a 5-year program, but her father told her that he would only pay for four years of college. In her second year of college she took a journalism course, and a counselor gave her what she felt was the greatest service by being honest with her. Ziegler has been in the journalism field since she was an intern in 1955 at the Dallas Morning News. Working for the Dallas Morning News for three years at the city desk, she recalled a deadly situation while being a reporter. “I was pressed up against a cold brick wall in Paris, with an uzi pressed up against my neck,” Ziegler said. The experience, as she said was very frightening, but luckily she had an Associated Press reporter there with her.Another horrible experience she remembered was when she was the education editor, and it was around the time for segregation and integration to began. She shook hands with Thurgood Marshall as court was beginning. A photographer took a picture of the handshake, and it landed on the front page of the newspaper. Her house and car were egged, and she had to be escorted to and from work.Ziegler left the Dallas Morning News because her boss would not give her the raise that she felt she deserved, so she went back to graduate school on a teaching fellowship.This summer Ziegler wrote feature articles for the Houston Chronicle’s, The Week issue. There are 17 weeklies that go out on Thursday with the deadline being 11 p.m. on Tuesday nights.Ziegler wrote for the North Montgomery County issue, which was assigned to her due to the area she lives in. She said that she likes public relations for the money, writing for the newspaper for the control and teaching because it keeps her young.Ziegler sad that she enjoyed writing for the Chronicle and that it was an exciting experience, but due to her 27 extra students this year in her classes, she has hardly any time to write due to the extra hour of grading that is required.Ziegler said “Everybody in news is a college graduate” and that she is working with a much more educated crew.Her advice for aspiring news writers is one that she mimic’s from SHSU’s Kuyk Logan, Philip G. Warner Endowed Chair of Journalism: “accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.” According to Ziegler, it is important to check the facts and to be ready for hard work. “Writing for the newspaper is not a 9 to 5 job, you never know when you are going to go home, especially if you are the new team player.”Yesterday morning, Ziegler attempted to quit writing for the Houston Chronicle, but they made her an offer that she just could not refuse. The Chronicle offered her two weeks to develop a story and $25 more on each story.She has been teaching for 13 years, and this is her fourth year teaching here at Sam Houston State. Along with writing for the Houston Chronicle, she teaches JRN 131 and 261 and is the advisor for the yearbook and 3MG.

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