About a month ago I asked journalists, with all the abuse, furloughs and long hours… why are you a journalist?
I got great responses from journalists across the country, and even one from across the pond.
Thank you all so, so much!
Yes, we’re facing some hard times… but, without a doubt, this is one of the most exciting times to be a journalist. These responses were so inspirational to me… and I hope these answers help remind you why we do this… and hopefully these answers keep you going.
Remember, what we do matters!
NOTE: It’s not too late to submit your answer! I will try to collect these to help us all remember why we chose to take on this noble
DESIGN NOTE: I’m looking for a multimedia-ish gallery that will randomly display and cycle through the responses. Any suggestions?
- EricaNaone (Erica Naone) | Boston
- The first person to call is Erica Naone, I.T. Editor, Web & Social Networking at the Technology Review.
- henrymlopez (Henry M. Lopez) | Santa Fe, N.M.
- Because newsrooms are filled with smart people with a purpose. I like smart people and having a purpose to my work.
- zachbehrens (Zach Behrens) | Studio City, CA
- bc ive always bn the guy who enjoyed gathering info & then spreading it. it’s 2nd nature, even if when not wrkn in the field
- NSlayton (Nicholas Slayton) | Los Angeles, CA
- Because just maybe, we can educate people and help build a better future. Or maybe I’m just too optimistic.
- kimbui (P. Kim Bui) | Los Angeles, CA
- I never want to stop learning. I never want my job to be routine. I also have a type of humor only journalists find funny.
- AsianStig (Isaiah Narciso) | California, USA
- because I have this strange feeling to keep elected leaders & other powerful people accountable for their actions.
- kbeninato (Karen DaltonBeninato) | New Orleans
- Saw a Jack Anderson speech in high school, may have been hypnotized.
- alexschmidt (alexschmidt) | Los Angeles, CA
- b/c it’s possibly the only career where being critical, always looking for the negative, is a help rather than a hindrance … also, it’s one of few careers where you can be self-servingly creative while also truly serving public interest
- WordSmithette (Jen King) | Jet City
- because you can’t help it? more way of life than job.
- stevesaldivar (Steve Saldivar) | East Los Angeles
- I <3 STORIES! & That's why I'm a journalist.
- jghellum (Jennifer Gaie Hellum) | Phoenix, AZ
- because of curiosity and extroversion; I have a need to learn and a need to share what I learn with others.
- nickdean12 (nickdean12) | Washington, D.C.
- I am a journalist because there’s a story behind everything and the only way to effect wide-spread change is to inform.
- kait4788 (Kaitlin Ugolik) | New York
- i just want to tell people’s stories and make readers feel a connection with people they didn’t think they could
- DSMacLeod (D.S. MacLeod) | Portland, ME
- I don’t see any choice. Being a journalist is hands down the coolest job.
- EatCheap (Alison Ashton) | Los Angeles
- Ultimately, because I like to learn new things. If you want to be a journalist, you want to be a lifelong student.
- spsullivan (S.P. Sullivan) | Northampton, MA
- I’m a journalist because I’m constantly wondering what that thing does, who that guy is and why things are that way and not this way. At some point I realized other people might be wondering that, too – they just didn’t realize you could talk someone into paying you to ask.
- RhiBowman (Rhiannon Bowman) | Charlotte, NC
- People deserve to know. Also, I’m a compulsive writer and information gatherer.
I used to make a heckuva lot more money as an insurance salesperson and marketer, but left the industry because it felt – and was – dirty. (One of the clients I sold annuities for was AIG.)
Being a freelance journalist makes me feel like I’m making a difference. Sure, I spend a lot of time wondering where my paychecks are and if they’re lost in the mail, but, really, who cares? I used to work for the money, now I work to help people understand huge issues and to, hopefully, make a difference.
I’d say life is better now.
P.S. Thanks for askin’.
- writepudding (Liana Aghajanian) | Los Angeles
- I’m a journalist because there is nothing that makes me feel more alive than telling a story and more honored than having the privilege of eliciting even the smallest change through words while empowering myself with knowledge from all walks of life.
- allieg (Allie Ghaman) | Ann Arbor
- Every day is a blank slate. If you made a mistake today, tomorrow is a chance to make it better. If you did something well, tomorrow’s challenges will keep you humble. I love never having to live the same day twice.
- MonicaHare1 (Monica Hare) | Sarasota, FL
- 1) I liked sports and wanted to write about athletes and sporting events.
2) I’m anal retentive about words, spelling, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation and instead of being called OCD, these habits are valued in journalism.
- Marina D. Sandoval
- - 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.
- KM Britton
- 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.
She also left a voicemail.
- Shaun Chavis
- 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.
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.
- Liz Gonzalez
- I am a journalist because our work is invaluable in our society. If it weren’t for us, people wouldn’t get the news.
- Corey McKenna
- 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.
Text message (SMS)
- wcochran (Wendell Cochran) | Washington, DC
- I am a journalist because I get to think about important things, meet interesting people and tell the world what I found. And I get paid for it.