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20 Jul

Crowdsource help: Why am I a journalist?

Posted by 13 comments

Read the results: http://blog.webjournalist.org/2010/08/23/why-am-i-a-journalist/

Attention all working and non-working journalists: I need your help!

We’ve been furloughed, laid off, and have been poorly paid for decades. We’ve worked long hours, have lost relationships over breaking news and been promised that we “not only will survive, but thrive.”

We’re are some of the smartest, creative, passionate, witty people that serve the community. And based on emails and comments, they aren’t all fans.

So, why? Why the heck are we journalists?!?!? What drives you to chose this career… this lifestyle?

I want to put a crowdsourced, multimedia presentation together answering this question… and I need your help.

Please take a moment and email me, tweet me, call me (213-290-5067 and leave a voicemail) or send me a link to your video answer. Keep it short and to the point. Feel free to submit multiple responses.


Here are some of my reasons why I’m a journalist:

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· I LOVE knowing more than other people. “Yeah, that’s a great story on A1, but here’s the stuff we couldn’t put in…”

· While I’m shy, there is no bigger honor than hearing someone’s unique story… and then having the challenge and privilege in telling/sharing their story with others.

· My attention span and curiosity would drive me nuts in another profession, in journalism it’s an asset.

· Because I want to be part of the Fourth f**king Estate, the profession protected by our constitution.

The audience is for new journalism students and those needing a reminder of why we put up with this abusive relationship.

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  1. Marina D. Sandoval
    July 22nd, 2010 at 10:42 | #1

    Why am I a Journalist:

    – I love learning something I never knew I didn’t know.

    – To have the ability to see,hear and experience priceless moments that others could only dream of.
    – I absolutely love peoples reactions when u talk about a photoshoot/story ur working on and they just say wow you are so lucky and that is so amazing.

  2. August 13th, 2010 at 11:23 | #2

    Why I am a Journalist:

    Because it is, quite literally, what I have wanted to do all of my life (since I was 4) and at 33, I finally have the guts to do it.

    Because I am a compelling, honest, thoughtful writer.

    Because law school taught me mad research skillz and I would rather put them toward wising up the public than toward making someone lame rich(er).

    Because I know a lot about an industry (biotech) that the public understands very little (if at all), and I feel personally called to remedy that.

    Because aside from being a journalist, I also always wanted to be the female James Bond, and investigative reporting is the next best thing. No, really. It is.

  3. August 21st, 2010 at 12:27 | #3

    I love it. I cannot imagine doing anything else… I know the pay sucks, I know job opportunities are dwindling, and sometimes I think maybe I should find something else. Maybe I should have been a lawyer or a CPA like my dad wanted me to be. But I can’t think of anything else I love as much.

    I think there is no better way to experience life than to be a journalist. I get to indulge my curiosity and passion to learn and explore. Journalists get front-row access to events as they unfold. We get to know people, intimately, at their best and worst. We tell the stories that move people’s hearts, that move people to action, that drive Democracy and change. Everyday is a challenge to myself to be better, to push myself further, to see if I can surprise myself. I love it.

  4. Liz Gonzalez
    August 21st, 2010 at 14:51 | #4

    I am a journalist because our work is invaluable in our society. If it weren’t for us, people wouldn’t get the news.

  5. Corey McKenna
    August 21st, 2010 at 18:53 | #5

    I always wanted to be a writer and tell stories. Now I get to hear and tell people’s stories and potentially help emergency managers, first responders and other public servants do their job better by sharing the stories of their peers that they might learn from. I enjoy exposing people to resources that may benefit them.

  6. August 21st, 2010 at 19:07 | #6

    Got another. I love going to work and having no clue what’s going to happen. I also love having a finished product (newscast, story) at the end of the day. There’s no work piling up day after day.

  7. Rebecca Friedman
    August 23rd, 2010 at 18:01 | #7

    I want to be a journalist because it combines my love of talking to people with my love of writing. Who wouldn’t want to get paid to ask questions all the time?

  8. August 25th, 2010 at 16:02 | #8

    I became a journalist because I saw a field full of adults who were happy with their jobs. They loved their work, because it was more than just work.

    I remain a journalist because every day there’s more to do: documents to dig through, numbers to examine, changes to reveal and ways to innovate and be better.

    Just as we push back against government officials and systems that fail society, we must constantly push back against ourselves to be better and better.

    I’m a journalist because it is quite literally the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. I would do just about anything to keep being able to report the news. I continue to believe it IS a noble profession, a way of life and as much a calling as it is a choice.

    I remain a journalist because I know the value and power of diverse voices and communities, and I will continue to push for fair and accurate coverage of governments, people, businesses and lifestyles.

  9. September 7th, 2010 at 21:31 | #9

    I’m a journalist because I must have the perpetual learning experience. I went back to school late (I’m 46, grad ’97) and I wanted to stay and learn more.. not just about writing but about history and politics and science. But I had to follow the J-school degree plan b/c funds were limited! When you’re in a newsroom, or even writing/blogging for yourself, it’s always a learning experience. I love the research and the writing about it. Using our brains constantly, as we are known to do, has been known to keep dementia away too.. just a side benefit. But seriously, I feel like I have a degree in everything… my love for constant learning and communicating is why I’m a journalist.

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