Why I Got Into Journalism

In my short time as a reporter I have gotten to meet some truly amazing people.

I think that’s my favorite part about this job. I get to go places, see things and meet people I would have never been able to otherwise. This is true of my experience yesterday.

I was told earlier in the week that I would be covering a woman who was a guest speaker at a gala. Whoop-de-do, yet another thing to put on my long list of Saturday tasks.

How wrong I was.

Friday I did a little research to prepare me for the interview and as I read I became more and more amazed at the woman I was going to get to meet. Her story was not only horrific, it was inspiring.

She survived the Rwanda genocide, a story in itself, but after that she went on to forgive the unforgivable and become an inspiration to not only her country but all over the world.

After that, I got to go to the reopening of a park that had been remodeled. This park was just a park to me, but to the neighborhoods that fought for years to get it cleaned up and family friendly it was an answered prayer.

In a predominantly black neighborhood, the children were not the ones swinging in the park or laughing in the grass. No, drug deals were going on and crime scene tape had been put in place several times after people were murdered.

So while the hamburgers and hot dogs served Saturday were nice, the park meant hope and a future to the people living there. I asked one woman how she felt about the park and all she said, and all she needed to say was, “It means a lot.”

One little boy was asked the same question and as he looked at the huge park with newly planted grass and the shiniest play set he’d ever seen he described the beer bottles and the needles that used to be strewn about. Then he described the park he now saw. He said it was a mansion.

Wow.

I get to meet people and hear their stories, I get to see there faces during moments of joy. My job isn’t always easy, and sometimes I get down. But times like these make me realize how lucky I am to be doing what I do.

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One response to “Why I Got Into Journalism

  1. I could write similar stories under the headline “What I enjoyed about my career in journalism.”
    I’ve been out of journalism now since 2003, the victim of company downsizing. Opportunities in the field of journalism were slim where I lived then (where I continue to reside today), and now that good jobs in journalism are even more scarce, I’m trying to earn my teaching credential so I can teach high school English. The icing on the proverbial cake would be if I got the chance to teach high school journalism and photography.
    I’ve always loved photography, which is what got me into journalism. Then, when I began to discover incredible stories from what I’d call every-day people, I was hooked. Some of these interviews included former residents of the Manzanar Internment Camp during World War II, a WWII veteran who was at Kaneohe Naval Air Station on 12/7/1941, another WWII veteran who was a German U-Boat commander at the age of 17 (the first time he saw the Statue of Liberty was through the crosshairs of his periscope), a high school girl who watched the Berlin Wall come down from her home in East Berlin, and Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first man to survive flying a supersonic jet.
    Thanks for sharing your stories here. I’ll be sure to follow your blog; I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

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