Before I knew anything about how the world worked or why people watched the evening news, Seymour Hirch and Molly Ivins were asking tough questions and examining the seedy underbelly of American society. That’s probably why I never heard of them until I was already out of the public school system. Hirch is an investigative reporter and Ivins, RIP, was a sassy political commentator and columnist.
I look up to them now, but I was first inspired by Robert Fitrakis, a political science instructor and media watchdog with a law degree. He turned me on to Project Censored, the Sonoma State University project that reports on the most under-reported stories they can find.
They are the reason why I want to be a journalist. I’m all about hyper-local reporting these days, but the people I look up to think about the big picture and want everybody to know what’s really going on.
Five years from graduation, I’d like to be at least freelancing for Wired. They pay well and are totally relevant. Until then, I could work as a software journalist. I’d need to pick one program and master it, then another in order to be successful at that. I’ve done a bit of that with Flash, but I’m no master. That particular listing is for a web site that offers down-loadable programs, which could mean open source programs. To get good at writing about those tools, I’d have to do a ton of research and then pick a few and learn them backwards and forwards.