Editor’s note: As promised, we will spend December offering brief daily notes from fellow journalists about something or someone they are grateful for in their career. Here is the starter sampler from Thanksgiving Day. We’d love to hear yours, whenever they occur to you. Because gratitude shouldn’t be limited to a season. And it’s good to remember the bright spots on this journey.

 

I am grateful to Joe Goodman, the former Marine who was my first city editor, complete with a red bandana in his back pocket and a spittoon in his bottom drawer. He snarled at me, a cub reporter, when I came back from a Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing, having failed to get the answers to the most important questions.

“We’re not paying you to be a stenographer,” he snapped. “If (the attorney for the opponents of the new nuclear plant) failed to get the answers, it’s up to you to get them for our readers.”

I slunk back to my desk, recalibrating my understanding of what it means to be a journalist.

“And next time, bring me a God-d— bright story,” he said, with a hint of a smile.

Linda Austin ~ teacher; project director, APME NewsTrain

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