A good take on being a reporter

November 22, 2008 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: reporters, reporting.

Reporting is where journalism begins.

Without reporting — gather facts, information, and views and putting all those together — journalism doesn’t exist. So we owe a deep debt to those who spend their lives doing the tough job of reporting.

Deborah Howell, ombudsman for the Washington Post, has a good take on what it takes to be a reporter in her current column.

What makes a good reporter? Endless curiosity and a deep need to know what is happening. Then, the ability to hear a small clue and follow it. When Post reporter Dana Priest first heard “a tiny, tiny piece” of what turned out to be the Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal, she couldn’t ignore it.

She also quotes former Post editor Ben Bradlee, not a bad reporter himself:

They’ve got to love what they’re doing; they’ve got to be serious about turning over rocks, opening doors. The story drives you. It’s part of your soul.

Read the whole thing.

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