It is easy to get bogged down with the process of story telling. As we’ve progressed through bootcamp, I’ve started to feel oddly confined by learning the methods. Do I place a comma here? How do you incorporate ambient noise with audio clips? Is my headline catchy and effective? It gets tiresome.
Today we had two great reminders of the reasons we entered the field of journalism – or at least why I entered. Deep down, I think most journalists are idealists. We see the way things could be. The parts of society that need to be illuminated, corruption that needs to be outed. I believe fully in the concept that journalism is the fourth pillar of democracy.
Professor Chuck Lewis captivated us today with these concepts. Without stating it directly, he reminded us that investigatory journalism is really what it is all about. Its the serious stuff, the work we all secretly dream of; hoping we have the courage to follow through, face danger, and break a story of facts no one else has been able to. Prof Lewis discussed the non-profit Center for Public Integrity (which he founded). He talked about many of its projects, and got us revved up for our futures.
“This is kind of hardcore investigative journalism,” he said about CPI. “Staring into the abyss and not being intimidated.”
Prof Lewis also was asked to weigh in on our continuing Wikileaks debate. Interesting, he confessed that the concept of Wikileaks was good in theory, to have the repository of information and partnerships of giant news organizations.

Jim Asendio, news director of WAMU, also joined us this morning. Mr. Asendio briefed us on his colorful career, and gave us much to think about as far as the world of radio news. Most interesting was a description of a story the station aired today. The story centered around a mosque in Maryland that was vandalized by obviously anti-Semitic criminals. Stu Rushfield, who is a behind the scenes guy at NPR, went on the other side of the mic to tell his perspective on the event. A member of the synagogue, Rushfield had an insiders view and discussed the reaction of his Rabbi and the surrounding community. The result was incredibly moving, and that is, at the end of the day, what our business is about.