Enough to make a grown man cry

I sometimes forget the power of the press. Then I look a man almost twice my age in the eyes and tell him that I wrote a 100 inch story from the material I got from two days of following him around. He tried not to show it, but Steve was a little weak in the knees when I delivered the news. I don’t know why.

I mean come on, let’s compare here. He’s powerful, the head of a golf tournament, able to grant all-access passes or fire people (which, he told me, he did yesterday.) I’m…fresh-faced, barely out of college, and I don’t think I could fire anyone, even if I had the authority. Yet because I wield a pen, people tend to fear me. I can honestly say that I am not like many of my colleagues in the journalism world. I am not bent on ruining people, and if I write something, I would nine times out of ten wish it could be positive.

The only “negative” reporting I’ve ever done was in college. It was an investigative piece on the state of the university medical center. They need a new building badly because it is overcrowded and the basement floods every time it rains. Yet the university continues to make additions to the stadium that sits just behind the medical clinic. The piece may have been negative, but was written with the intent of bringing about positive change.

So I’m understanding more and more the fragility of what I do. The power of the press is a mighty thing. I thank God that we have the freedom to write – good, bad and ugly. Without it, the force of change would be limited, and fresh-faced kids would not stand a chance against the all-access pass granters.

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