How are there so many people everywhere at all times? Why did Dunkin Donuts thrive on the east coast and not the west coast? Where is Taylor Swift?
New York City handed me a lot of tough questions over the last two days. While I have not found answers to the previous, and extremely important, questions, I have answered a question about myself. I once asked myself if I should consider journalism as a career. Turns out, journalism is not for me. Classic, I traveled and made a self-discovery just like everyone else.
Thus far on our trip, our class has visited The New York Times and The Smoking Gun. Two very different types of publications, but both are passionate about spreading important truths through journalism.
What I found interesting is that both organizations left me with the feeling that I should not become a journalist. Journalists are a special breed of people. A journalist’s hunger for the truth surpasses all obstacles that might interrupt the journey. I do not have the same appetite for pursuing truth that The New York Times and The Smoking Gun have. So sue me. I value journalism, but journalism is not my passion.
What I do love to see is the passion that goes into creating stories. Both organizations showed a passion for exposing the public to truths they may not already know about. While The NYT does so in a more traditional manner, The Smoking Gun mixes fun investigative journalism with serious investigative journalism.
Both Kevin Quealy and William Bastone were passionate about telling stories. There are stories that need to be told and if journalists are not there to do it, who will? I think we take for granted the amount of work that goes into telling stories.
Every morning thousands of stories flood the papers and the internet. Behind those stories are thousands more journalists committed to telling readers what interesting ideas and information they should think about. And not only do they commit themselves to conveying those ideas, but they commit to convey those ideas effectively.
How many articles do you remember reading? Relatively few to how many you have read. While talking to Quealy at The NYT, he mentioned that the graphics he and his team design are meant to make the words memorable. The graphics are in place to make readers digest information, which often means work for it, rather than just get a sample or a sniff.
While I do not want to be a journalist, I do want to commit myself to a career that makes a difference and that often entails telling stories. Passion for storytelling is contagious. Storytelling does not stop with journalism; every musician, actor, salesman, and engineer can tell a story with their work. Stories are what pique human interest. Whatever I end up doing, I hope I can tell stories that invoke change.