AJR  Letters
From AJR,   December/January 2009

A Calling, Not a Job   

I came across Beth Macy's article "Notice What You Notice" (August/September) after a Columbia University professor passed it along to my class. I'm glad she did. It was uplifting, reminding me once more why it's important to look past the mess that is the current state of the newspaper industry.

Reading this line, "There are days when I still can't believe I get paid to drive around, talk to strangers and then write stories about what I've seen and heard, smelled and felt," gave me chills. When people ask me why I'm going into journalism, this is it. I've used a similar line before, in fact, when I tell naysayers that journalism isn't just a job, it's a calling.

I plan to save this article. It'll be handy when I'm struggling to find a story, a job or my way in today's troubled times.

Jeremy Herb
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
New York, New York