“That is so cool!”
“I bet that is fun!”
This is how most strangers and some friends react when they learn that I am a reporter. I was a teacher for years and no one EVER had that reaction when I told them what I did for a living.
Initially, I was swept away by the romanticism of the job, even though my previous boss very wisely warned me that this was a job, and like any other job, it had days that were not fun. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I understand.
But I didn’t really. Now, I can honestly say I do.
Similar to teaching, reporting can have the good, the bad and the ugly, all in one week. Unlike teaching, it is for the world (or my little community) to see, in a way.
This week I experienced the joy of a great interview. It was the kind where you meet interesting people and are immersed in their world, briefly, and leave changed or enlightened in some way. I’ve been blessed by many of those types of interviews, not because of who I am, but because of the people they are and the different passions they hold. It is what I envisioned when becoming a reporter. Next week, hopefully, readers will read the results of that interview.
This week I experienced the grief of witnessing a house fire that the homeowner also witnessed. It was heartbreaking. As I took pictures of the smoke rising from the windows, I cried. Yep, I cried. Go ahead, tell me, “There’s no crying in reporting!” I’ve heard it before. I cannot turn off my emotions like a faucet. As I saw firemen break out windows and used a chainsaw to cut walls to put out the fire, I couldn’t help but feel the man’s pain as he saw his belongings literally go up in smoke. Next week, readers will see the results of that event and read the details, but probably not experience the pain.
This week I also experienced the ugly of hearing how terrible the newspaper is and how so-and-so is not going to ever buy it again. Sticks and stones may break my bones…yeah, I never did do well with that saying. Next week, readers will (hopefully) never see the results of that event.
So, did I learn that reporting is not romantic just this past week? Heavens, no! This week did bring it all together in a nice little package though, just to remind me, I think, that no job is perfect, but every job has its perks.
What are the perks of your job?