Why journalists are journalists …

Reporters careers are being eliminated all across the world – in every nation and state, newspapers are folding.
I am very fortunate that the local newspaper I work for, The Chronicle-Telegram, has remained strong in an industry that is slowly being replaced by … well, I am not really sure, but I am guessing the Internet.
I get that. I do.
The Internet is right at our fingertips and with the latest advances in technology, nearly everyone has the ability to read news literally “as it happens.”
But while hard-news is our main selling point – that is our way of letting people know what is going on in politics, education, economics, crime, and government – we mustn’t forget the soft-news stories.
I am more of a soft-news/ feature writer.
My cousin told me that I should blog – which I do – as a way to “not lose my art” of writing.
But for me, blogging isn’t an art. That is a past-time or honestly, a way to vent.
For me, writing feature stories is art in the world of print-media.
It allows me to let the words fall onto the page and tell a story as if the reader is sitting with my interviewee, sharing a cup of coffee.
That is my goal is writing feature stories – to make the reader feel as if they have a new friend, with a really cool story to share.
Without journalists like me, the world would not know identical twins, Bryce and Baen Hurst, who are the only set of twins in the world who have Hurler’s Syndrome. And I have had the opportunity to watch these two little babies grow into toddlers, right before my eyes, thanks to a life-saving bone marrow transplant.
Likewise, a little boy from Grafton who was in need of a service-dog received enough financial donations from generous county-wide residents to purchase the special animal after the story was published. He now has a dog whose keen sense of imminent danger allows the boy’s parents to sleep a little better at night knowing the dog will wake them up if their son is experiencing a seizure.
And, the Hamilton family of Grafton, whose home was destroyed by a fire, was given a new home thanks to residents who lent a hand – it was honestly the “House that Lorain County” built.
No one has ever questioned WHY I choose journalism. My parents never geared me in another direction – although my dad did tell me to avoid teaching (thanks Dad!).
I have always heard that God gives everyone a special gift; we just have to figure out what the gift is and how to use it. I know we are to share our gift with the world, and for me, my gift allows me to tell stories.
And today, my gift brought together a small community to rally around a wife, mom and daughter who is in the battle of her life with breast cancer. Earlier in the week, there were 18 baskets to be raffled, but as the week went on, the number grew to 47. According to the owner of the business that hosted the event, people began dropping off monetary donations for the family.
Journalism is not a well-paying field. But, journalists are not in it for the money.
No, we are “in it” for the many hugs I received today and “thank yous” for the story I wrote on a woman that a week ago, I never knew. I met her for the first time today and as I walked away from the benefit, I couldn’t help but wonder if my “gift” gave her a sense of relief knowing so many people care about her and her family.

1 thought on “Why journalists are journalists …”

  1. What a beautiful story, Melissa—thanks for sharing your gift! Never thought how journalists can help so much in spreading the hope & joy!

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