A blog topic has been itching to get out of my brain and onto the printed page (or in this case, the blank, white computer screen).
First, I want to thank Samantha C. for her letter to the editor in Wednesday’s Daily Globe. It isn’t often that someone will go to bat, so to speak, for a newspaper reporter in print. As journalists, we don’t expect it. We are simply doing our jobs.
Certainly, I didn’t expect to see 30 comments on the Web site pertaining to Samantha’s letter by early Wednesday evening! How disappointing it was to see the comments had come down to three people doing nothing more than offending each other.
While I find it infuriating that some commenters refer to the product we bring to people’s doorsteps and computer monitors six days a week as the Glob, people are entitled to their opinion. If it wasn’t for freedom of speech, we wouldn’t have newspapers worth reading.
That said, I feel the need to talk a little bit about being a reporter.
We are regular, common folks who struggle to find time to spend with our families, mow the lawn, do the dishes, read a book or go to a ball game. We are private citizens with very public jobs that are open to criticism.
As reporters, we ask questions and we expect honest answers. We write stories based on facts given to us, not rumors or unconfirmed reports.
We work hard each day to bring our readers the news of their communities. With nine counties in our coverage area it’s impossible to report on everything with our limited staff, but we do what we can.
We put in long hours. We work mornings, afternoons, evenings, weekends and holidays to make sure our readers are informed.
Lest you think I’m complaining, I certainly am not.
I chose this profession … I might even say this profession chose me.
As a journalist, my job is to report the news. I know I’m not going to make everyone happy with what I write, but after 16 years of journalism experience I’ve developed a rather thick skin and a good support system.
So, whether I’m heading out in the middle of the night to bring our readers breaking news on a potentially dangerous situation, covering an important meeting or transforming a refugee’s journey to America into a story that can make our community a little more accepting of its neighbors, I will do my job. The same can be said for those around me in the Daily Globe newsroom.
And as far as commenters go, I do appreciate what each of you has to say … whether it’s praise or criticism. You have proven, on occasion, that there are questions we, as reporters, need to be asking. When you can stay on topic, stop bashing other people for their comments and add information to a story, I think all of our readers will benefit.