Sometimes I get those journalism rushes. Like the ones you get after a great interview or finding all the data you need in an online database (Thanks, Mark Horvit!). It’s during those moments that I remember why I love journalism.
I had one of those moments this week when I was riding the OATS bus around Columbia. We dropped several passengers off at the MU Adult Day Connection, and the bus driver suggested I go inside and talk to the director of the program, because we had lots of time until the next stop. The director was very gracious and accommodating with our questions. I knew she probably wasn’t going to be a voice in our story, but she was interesting to talk to so we could get further background knowledge of the issue. Still, I wrote down her name and position as we were leaving, so that I could contact her if we had any further questions.
When I get back from the ridealong, I check my email and saw that I have an email from the woman I had interviewed at the Adult Day Connection. Slightly confused, I checked the email and realized it had nothing to do with the conversation from earlier. She and I had been emailing back and forth for several days about a Girl Scout event that my sorority was hosting that she wanted her troop to attend. I had just failed to put the two together until I saw her name on the email. It was a complete coincidence, but it also made me realize what responsibility I have as a journalist.
The woman a the Adult Day Connection wasn’t just a source with a title and job. She has kids and a family. She is a Girl Scout leader. She is a member of the Columbia community as well as someone with a title and a business card. It’s easy to forget that she, like everyone, plays many roles in the community.
I get so caught up in 4804 land that I forget that I am not only reporting one people, but also for people.
It’s just a good feeling.