#whyJournalism - from @the_FJP
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What inspired you to become a journalist?
What is it about journalism that you love?
NameTwitter HandleOrganzationTimestampDisplay Twitter Handle?Your EmailDisplay Email?Add you to the FJP Newsletter?
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After dropping out of my university’s creative writing department, my girlfriend at-the-time encouraged me to answer a classified ad that read “Seeking reporter.” This is interesting for a couple of reasons – 1.) The ad was in the same rag I delivered during my brief tenure as a paperboy and 2.) There used to be this form of advertising in called “classifieds.” For those unfamiliar with the term “paperboy,” they were a kind of child-sized matador the smelled of printers’ ink. I applied for the gig and was offered lifestyle editor’s job. I excelled immediately. It was the same feeling I suppose those with a genetic disposition toward alcoholism experience when they get their first taste of booze. Journalism was the thing I’d been thirsting for but didn’t know it. Well, I should clarify – the arts and entertainment beat was what I was craving (I eventually got that job too). 15 years later, I have more published bylines than brain cells. I’ve also witnessed remarkable change in the industry (does anyone remember pica poles or Blue Streak pens?) and have great hope for its future. Just spell my name right in my obit and I’ll be happy.Daedalus HowellfmrlcomSonoma Index-Tribune
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I wanted to travel. I wanted to ask questions. I wanted to discover. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone.

And I wanted to somehow combine audio, video, images and text into compelling storytelling.

And what I love about journalism is that all of that's possible.
Michael Cervieri@bmunchFuture Journalism Project / ScribeLabs
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No words, but a little video:
http://vimeo.com/24073523
Lam Thuy Vo@lamthuyvoFreelance
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to replace winston and prevent the *memory hole* gobbling up reality and instead feed the tubes with *verbatim quotes*, victorious and yes even vicious verbs, while nouns nail subjects to the telescreens allowing *victims of the system* to read all about it after *firesign theatre* ends its performances and *albion moonlight* is interpreted to sound like someone merely mumbling *i'll be in moonlight*.

and then, today, to purposely end this text here, far less than the 200 words *authorized by permit* so there is always fresh *unused* space available for others to grafitti on whatever glass wall this appears, or so they can simply gaze at and wonder at what is really going on (a.k.a. *ignore surfaces / and thereby pass through walls*]

meanwhile congratulations to all of you & cheers from here:

http://www.asia-correspondent.110mb.com
http://http://www.flickr.com/photos/animists/sets
richard s. ehrlich
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Originally a love of language, it seemed like a way to hone your writing skills and have a job at the same time. But you soon find out that you really can make a difference, whether it is simply passing on vital information (which is not so simple after all), giving people a better understanding of society and fellow humans and their conditions, thoughts and ideas or trying to right at least a few of the wrongs in this World. That's what I love, and I love experimenting with how to do all this, the tools of our trade, so to speak. What I disgust about journalism is when this ability is used for the wrong reasons or perverted into malicious gossip.Susanne SayersFreelance
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The chance to question, the joy of answers, the trusty readers, the blank screen's challenge, the lure of writing, the thrill of each lede, the global entree, the nifty toolkit, the right to call it, the code of honour...the lucky, lucky luxury of it all.Catherine WarrenFanTrustFanTrust
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Why? Because I want to know. Be it Tulsa (where I'm from), Tokyo (where I've lived) or Tehran. I want to know.

And I have a bit of a writing talent. :)
Rod ProctorrpwpbFreelance
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The money...Kraig HapleaVisual Justice
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The opportunity to tally up many different experiences and get paid for that privilege. What other profession let's you meet so many different people, see so many different places and rewards your curiosity? That's what I love. Problem now, though, is that the pay is disappearing fast. The love is waning.John@jvanrosendaalFreelance
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I studied political science, public policy and communications. As soon as I graduated I never thought I would work as a journalist. International relations were my passion. But suddenly I found myself traveling and reporting on international relations, business, globalization and tourism.
My first boss in journalism told me: “international problems would end if people knew each other better.” Journalism has a lot of responsibility in international understanding, and my journalistic mantra is “bring people together; let your words bring understanding”.
In 2005 Marriott international awarded me the Global Circle Award for excellence in journalism and reporting on global issues promoting world peace. This was an unforgettable moment in my career and since then I wrote more than 50 reports on cities, business and global issues.
Lara Bersano@larabersanoRevista ADN
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I do not have twitter so this, I trust, will do. I loved history, read Story of Civilization when I was 12. My father took me to visit a cousin who worked on the Hartford Times. He took me to the morgue and I read a story about General Lee going to the White House to ask the president's pardon for participating in the Civil War.

Then a linotype operator did my byline By Jacqueline Kunitz in hot lead. (I still use it as a paper weight 81 years later).

I was hooked! Journalism is living history, the story of mankind and his progress (?). It can overpower myths and legends, if it deals in facts.
Jacqueline Kunitz Cappiello
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The diversity and the excitement of the job inspired me to become a journalist. As a journalist, I don't feel confined to one profession. I am constantly engrossed new fields, exploring.

I love journalism as it is holding up a mirror to the beautiful and the corrupt. It promotes transparency, openness and justice! It can change the world!
Rayyan Sabet-Parry@rayyansabet
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Inspired? The AIDS epidemic. I spent years watching my young talented friends die, shrouded in secrecy and shame, from complications from AIDS. To deal with my sadness, confusion and rage, I picked up a camera and documented the death of my dear friend, Tom McBride. The result became my first documentary film, Life and Death on the A-List, and I have never looked back.

What I love? To have people share their thoughts, ideas and intimate feelings with me on camera, and then shaping what they said or did and hopefully make something that is useful to others. There is nothing that fills me with more satisfaction and gratitude.
Jay Corcoran@JayCorcoranCorcoran Productions
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I wanted to be a journalist the moment I realized that they had a bird's eye view on how the world works and why it works the way it does.

I love journalism because it is, by design, an exercise in sustained learning.
Andrew NuscaeditorialisteCBS
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News is what someone somewhere wants to suppress, the rest is advertising, to paraphrase. I got into this business to chase newsDavid Biellodbiello
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Some information should stay in the public view, even if government organizations, businesses, and other entities prefer us not to know or see it, whether that's because they're hiding corruption, crime or scandal, or trying to keep secrets to profit from this information. I'm in it to keep the facts verified, and in public view because I think this empowers people and communities, positively. Also, I just love writing, production and people. Lora Kolodny@lorakolodnyDow Jones / Wall Street Journal online
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Since I was a wee little one; I’ve always had a lot of questions. I always seemed to get an answer, but I didn’t always like THAT answer ....so…. I would go in search of the truth or a better way. You see….I love adventure and going out in search of something is exciting. I’ve always felt an undying yearning to figure out why things are the way they are and how I can fix them. I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I do like chasing them and trying to figure out how we can make our world a better place. I’ve always wanted to change the world; the only way I figured I could do that is by asking questions and analyzing what is put before me. Through my words and analysis I can help reshape our world into a softer place to live. Take a look around….sometimes the world changes and people don’t change with it. We all view the world from our experiences. I write so you can see the world from a different angle. I write so I can be a vehicle of change and inspiration for the greater good.L.BorlandWho2Be2ChangeFreelance
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I got in because it was exciting and fun and because, when I got in, broadcasters were required to serve the "public interest, convenience, and necessity." I got out when it became dull and miserable and because, when I got out, broadcasters were no longer required to serve the "public interest, convenience, and necessity."Eric Eifrig
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I've always wanted to be the first to know and the first to tell everyone what's going on. But mostly, I have this deep-seeded need to find out, and explain all sides of a story. I hate one-sided discussions and I hate lies. So it was either this line of work or the law... and this seemed easier, LOL!
Angela HurshWebmastergirlWKRC-TV
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I because a journalist to find out how people do what they do and why they do it. My mission is to share that knowledge with people. I believe that journalists should help people to understand any issues that may effect their lives. Chao Li@cli6cli6FJP
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I used to want to be a novelist... but I don't like the idea of wrestling with a narrative for 2 years before sharing it with the world, only to be disappointed when it ignores my work for other, more relevant forms of discourse.

To be a journalist is to seek out public utility and capture it in some kind of narrative, *right now*. I like that. I want to be that guy.
Niel@nielbekkerThe Huffington Post
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- The idea of being a link between citizens and different realities
- The hope to give my small contribution to foster humanity in contemporary societies
- About journalism, I love the eternal strive and moral obligation to understand more and more, in order to make comprehension easier for readers
Giulia Belardelli@GiuliaBelardFreelance
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I became a journalist before I became a journalist. Late 90s. Unemployed. Father unemployed. Mother, low skill worker. I had to leave college. I became angry and frustrated and heard a lot of people talking about how life just wasn't fair. I became curious, asking why is that? I developed a sense of injustice and empathy for the underdog, because the underdog, I felt, was me. Fast forward to a college degree and adult life. You become a journalist because you are a sympathetic ear. You want to know what makes things tick. You're intellectually curious. Journalism, done well, reminds me that I am part of this world.Kenneth Rapoza@Reporter4HireIn These Times
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I started off college as a creative writing major, knowing I wanted to write in some fashion for a career. Sophomore year, I took Journalism 101 as an elective because it sounded fun... and I completely fell in love and changed my major three weeks later.Molly JasinskimollyjasinskiBrownsville Herald
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Under-coverage on topics I felt were important. I love informing people on significant news.Patrick deHahn@_newjournalistStudent/Freelance
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The chance to think, explore and learn. Blair Hickman@amandablairProPublica
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Because life can be like a summer trip to Paris, and most people have a great time visiting museums and drinking coffee under a striped awning. But life as a journalist offers the chance to have been there when they cut the king's head off, or when they hid in the supply closet at the Louvre to steal a painting, or, personally, to have been one of the few who cared about Hemingway before our teachers did.Blake Hunsicker@blakehunsickerFreelance
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On September 11th, 2001, the world changed forever. The political, economic, social and cultural ramifications of that event both in the United States and internationally were substational. The event was also deeply personal for many, including myself.

It was on that day that I determined I wanted to be a journalist. I watched in awe as reporters covered the story, providing a critical public service at a time of crisis, and how they handled it so well. In the days and weeks ahead, I was glued to the media coverage as journalists pieced together what had happened, why and who was behind it, and the many stories behind recovery efforts and live lost.

I had always been interested in writing, and at that time, I realized I wanted to go into journalism and pursue public service myself.
Craig Kanalley@ckanalNBC News
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At 17, I was published in a newspaper for the first time. Almost 13 years later, I still have the same passion and enthusiasm for the profession. I couldn't imagine doing anything else.Sarah Millar@sarah_millarOpenFile
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I'm a writer - always have been. By the time I caught a few bylines at my high school newspaper, the process of news gathering and reporting also had a firm grip on me.
I'm a journalist because it satisfies my drive to have fun and do things that matter in life. It's a fun calling and I'm very much at home as I craft each article, video or segment of audio work. Seeing the results of my work throughout the community makes this roller coaster ride doubly worthwhile.
I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my time and my talents. And I couldn't imagine meeting a more fascinating cast of characters.
Eric Sandy@ericsandySun Newspapers, Cleveland, Ohio
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I've never felt more at home as when I'm in a newsroom... it's filled with the smartest, wittiest, most socially awkward people passionate to serve their community. We get to be creative on deadline and preserve democracy at the same time.Robert Hernandez@webjournalistUSC Annenberg
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I became a journalist because of my passion for the radio. From a radio presenter who disseminates information gathered from the web, I delved into creating content for the web.

I love journalism because of the dynamics of the new media. The multi-media platform the web provides and the borderless world of the internet means endless possibilities for journalists and their audience.

Journalism is exciting. No room for boredom.
Samuel OkochasamokochaFreelance
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To help people know and understand what the heck is going on in the world. It's a rush.Joan Voight@shapelygrapeFreelance
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I love the fact that I can dig in to a topic, learn all about it and become an expert. I keep learning every single day. Journalism is perfect for someone who wants to simultaneously be a student and teacher.Fahmida Y RashidzdfyrashideWEEK
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I started out being an English teacher and took a summer job after my first assignment proofreading a commodities newspaper (pork bellies, orange juice and winter wheat futures, that kind of minutiae). The editor (John LaRue) loved my work and offered me a full-time job when he left later that summer to become editor of Midwest Construction News. It paid more than teaching, so I never went back to teaching. I started out compiling construction data. And I've stuck with data being the primary source of my reporting. I love making sense and telling stories out of numbers.Mark Heschmeyer@mheschmeyerCoStar Group
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It was the closest thing to being James Bond without the killing: you got to travel, you were expected to be opinionated, you were always under pressure and always always doing new things. Karen Krizanovich@krizanovichFreelance
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I was tired of other people telling our stories.Nikole Hannah-JonesnhannahjonesProPublica
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I wanted to write but I had no idea what I wanted as a career, except that wanted it to be part of my life, not 9-5. I dated a tech journalist and though 'if he can do it I know I can too' (though I then went off and got a degree to be sure I'd know what I was talking about) and discovered it's the perfect career for someone who wants to always be learning something new, discussing what it means and thinking about why it matters - and I hope what I write informs and helps people.Mary BranscombemarypcbukFreelance
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Because I want to write about people and things that intrigue me. Because anything at all is worth writing about if you care about it enough. Because constructing a story visually is just as exciting as lining certain words next to each other to make a sentence resonate on more than one level. Because no matter how hopeless I get looking for a job in journalism, it's never crossed my mind to pursue another path. Hiba Zayadin@HZayadinFreelance
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It was for the ladies.

Actually, it was one specific lady. I wasn't very interested in my ninth-grade journalism class, but I was interested in her. She wanted me to stay on the newspaper staff, I obliged, we "went out" for a week, then she dumped me for my best friend. I got to hold her hand once at the football game.

But I had already signed up for the newspaper staff, and it wasn't so bad. The following year, I wrote a fair, tasteful, thoroughly reported story about condom distribution in school. The principal, ignoring state law and our educational interests, spiked it.

I was devastated, but we fought back. We published an account of the censorship, and succeeded in starting a much larger conversation. I learned that injustice is part of our world, but that need not be a hopeless feeling. Not when you're a journalist.
Daniel VictorbydanielvictorProPublica.org
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I became interested in the evolution of the flow of information.David Cohn digidaveWhateves
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Loved writing and loved every day have a new problem or issue to unravel and report out.Dan NguyendancowProPublica
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Creative people inspire me and I've always wanted to be around them and learn from them as much as possible. Being a journalist allows me to do that and allows me to always be exploring.Todd OlmsteadtoddjolmsteadMashable
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I feel it's a privilege to learn every day and be able to pass on that knowledge to others. #whyJournalism Jennifer Chen@jyfchenCBC Radio
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There have always been and always will be gossipy types, conspiracy theorists, ignoramuses, the misinformed, agenda-pushers and people in public relations. Then, there are the journalists -- the gatekeepers of knowledge gleaned from facts, eyewitnesses, studies and good-old-fashioned boots on the ground, beholden to no one but a stodgy editor with an eye for BS. Because I am a stickler for what's true, because I want others to come to conclusions based on the truth, because I correct people when they're wrong -- even relatives, even significant others -- I make for an insufferable human, and (I hope) a good journalist.Amie Steffen@CourierAmieWCFCourier
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I've always loved telling stories, and I've always been curious. What amazed me about journalism at the beginning and continues to amaze me now is that uttering the magic words "I'm a journalist" lets you ask people questions, ask to see things, and ask to be taken behind closed doors -- and unless you're spectacularly obnoxious, a fair amount of the time people will answer, show you, and open those doors. After which it's your responsibility to tell those without such privileges what you found, and your challenge to make the telling clear and compelling. Jason FryjasoncfryFreelance
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Severe Curiosity is why I came to journalism from science--Digging in and getting an education in a subject and topic. Now the state of journalism is in tatters, not least because too many journos themselves refuse to admit that bias in all things political has kept them from telling all the story--presenting only the parts that bolster their preconceptions. The public hates us and we need to do a correction! Margaret Woodbury TDB
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I fell into journalism by accident. I went to university with little idea of what I would want to do at the end of it. I took English and Media, two things I had always enjoyed and throughout the course found myself drifting towards the more creative modules that made up the course - principally creative writing and film & audio production. It was in my second year where journalism begin to emerge as something I would like to do. In my modules I took documentary production and a creative writing class, as well as meeting a girl on the student newspaper who I tried to impress with my articles for the music section. As I wrote more stories of fiction (for class) and non-fiction (the paper) I began to realise I liked telling them to people and I began to apply for work experience. The range of places I worked during term time was exciting and each brought something new and fresh with them and that's when I knew I wanted to be a journalist. The world changes everyday and there's no better profession to experience that.John Johnstonjohnjohnston100Huffpo UK
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