For Thanksgiving week, the Shop Talk panelists share some thoughts about the aspects of journalism for which they give thanks.
Panelist Rich Egger said he is thankful the U.S remains a country where journalists can report critically on those in power and not face the threat of being hauled away, beaten, and/or killed. He said those are legitimate threats faced by journalists in other countries.
Egger said the goal for journalists is not to get under someone’s skin but rather to inform the audience.
Panelist Jason Parrott, filling in this week for Jasmine Crighton, said he is thankful for the authority figures he interviews who don’t hold grudges – he can file a critical report and those people will still talk to him.
Parrott also said he is grateful for people who thank him or other reporters for covering events and issues – it helps journalists to know they are indeed serving their audience.
Panelist Will Buss said he is thankful for the idea of having a free press – that reporters can question those in authority and then publish or broadcast their findings. He said American citizens and journalists should not take that for granted. He hopes people recognize the value provided by reporters and that they understand it’s not always easy to ask the tough questions.
Buss and Parrott are also thankful for the young reporters entering the challenging field of journalism. Parrott got his start in public radio while he was a student at Western Illinois University and Buss reported for the Western Courier when he was a WIU student. Now they both get to see a new crop of reporters hold those positions.