Don’t Do Journalism For The Money… But Do It.

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In January 1984, I got offered a summer reporting internship at the Virginian Pilot in Norfolk Virginia. On hearing about it, my grandfather (whose health was failing) sent me this:

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This was surprising, because he loved newspapers and had previously encouraged me to pursue journalism in college:

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As a first generation immigrant, he deeply respected anything to do with civics, community, and the democratic process, like newspapers. But he also wanted his grandson to live the American dream, and journalism maybe didn’t seem like the path. So he occasionally suggested I consider professions like law or medicine.

I ended up taking that summer reporting job, and loving it.  It opened my eyes to the thrill and adventure of journalism… taking initiative, asking the right questions, digging for the truth, working with demanding editors on deadline etc. I was running on adrenaline the whole time.

The experience led (at least indirectly) to my career in media and technology, which my grandfather couldn’t have imagined. Today, I’d tell any college kid to try journalism, even if you have to volunteer. Searching for the truth and hustling for scoops is one of the most satisfying and entrepreneurial things you can do in this world. It is its own reward, and can lead you to many great places… including more journalism.

Thanks Papa for having cared about me so much.

Here’s some of my clips from that summer:

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