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Why did you choose a profession that can potentially get you killed?

Why do you want to become a journalist?

It’s a question that can haunt, annoy or even frustrate journalism students, but it is also one that ultimately makes most dedicated journalism students ponder. It’s an important question, one that requires us to be honest and thoughtful. After all, it is a question we answer with a response that we may feel needs to be worthy of a lifetime.

Most of us aren’t aspiring to join this business for dreams of riches stored in loaded bank vaults lined with gold. Surely we are all realistic folk. By now we are well aware of the dismal job outlook, of the frequent layoffs facing even the most veteran of reporters. This extends of course to all mediums of journalism—print, broadcast, radio and now digital.

So why are we doing this? We can leave that question for another day.

Liz Martinez posed a different type of question for aspiring and current journalist on Tuesday, one concerning the threat of dying in the line of duty.

So if you were asked this question, how would YOU respond to this:

Why did you choose a profession that can potentially get you killed?

Perhaps it was out of curiosity, but I ended up sharing the question with some of my friends and followers. The question is a loaded one–and as one person pointed out a bit of an overstatement–but it was revealing of person’s reasons to either be journalists or aspire to be one. Here were the responses, including my own.

@LizMartinezG Anything can get you killed. Often, it’s things that you’re most passionate about. No one says anything positive about prison.
September 27, 2011
@LizMartinezG It’s exciting? You get to be part of a history in the making? You get to visit / meet interesting places and people…
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 It makes your heart beat and your brain function. #passion
September 27, 2011
@LizMartinezG: Because journalism is a passion, not just a profession!
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 being a journalist is about reporting the facts, at whatever cost, because every story deserves to be told. Even the scary ones
September 27, 2011
@LizMartinezG That’s a bit of a stretch. The real professions that could get you killed are in public safety and the military.
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 the same reason a soldier goes to battle, the sense of duty to the people
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 For most it may be that they see a greater good in their jobs that justify the risk. For me, the truth is more important
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 Serious journalists have the #passion and drive to inform their follow citizens of situations they might not otherwise be aware.
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 Well, in my opinion, a true journalist puts the lives of others before their own. That is why we risk it for the sake of truth.
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 You can get killed in any career and if reporting is your passion, you shouldn’t let that stop you
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 Hmmm, remember what SP said to us? “Every single day somebody risks their life for the Evening News–now that’s a high calling”
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 When I was in 4th grade my teacher’s favorite saying was ‘Do the right thing.’ That stuck with me, clearly.
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 I think we do it because, sometimes a human willing to die –and not willing to kill– can make a greater difference overall.
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 because they’re fighting for what they believe in
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 Because we live for it. Living w/o it, well… that’s a good idea for retirement but not now, not for us.
September 27, 2011
@Esteban805 You gotta love it. Plain and simple.
September 27, 2011
@LizMartinezG Journalism is a profession worth dying for.
September 27, 2011

About Esteban L. Hernandez

Reporter in Connecticut.


One thought on “Why did you choose a profession that can potentially get you killed?

  1. Interesting string of comments. I also think not all reporters would willingly put themselves in a position where they could get killed…i.e. covering a war. Personally, I would not consider working in the trenches… Other reporters thrive on that sort of thing.

    Posted by juliepoppen | October 4, 2011, 2:53 am

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