I have three grandchildren who will grow up with a plethora of news sources available on the internet, but never experience old-fashioned newspapers and journalists who worked everyday with a passion to tell both sides of a story.
I would covet the opportunity to sit around the family dinner table and tell them about what drew me into the field of journalism. When I graduated from MSU's School of Journalism back in the late sixties, most reporters felt like they had received a special calling to serve the people.
To be the eyes and ears of people who read your stories was considered a real privilege. It was that feeling that kept me sitting through many, many long city council meetings in a variety of locations. And when I didn't understand something, I would ask for an explanation. Many times, I'd ask to have something repeated twice or three times just so I'd get it right.
During the career I met many amazing people and some who were despicable. But I had taken a pledge to listen and to tell their story without prejudice.
This past summer, I remember my four-year-old grandson Xavier laughing about how I asked more questions than he did. On long car rides, he and I talked about everything. I'd ask him if he had ever seen a shark, whether he had ever held a snake and about his favorite dinosaur. I love learning about people. That's one of the reasons, I became a reporter.
Over the years, I acquired a big stack of newspapers covering major historical events like presidential elections and 9/11 and many more. If they want to see a real newspaper, I gave them to my son Justin to share with them.
Journalism is going through turbulent times right now. But, I hope they understand it's historic importance to our way of life. Reporters are a lifeline for our democracy and our way of life.
I want them to know that part of me. I'd love to tell them in person someday. But, just in case, I'll try to use this blog.