This post was originally written Sept. 11, 2009. After yesterday’s historic events, I thought it was a good time for a rerun. God Bless America.
Today is and always should be a day of remembrance. Everyone who is old enough, will always remember where they were when it happened. I was a college junior at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point in the middle of the state. I worked part time with autistic children and was on my way to work in Wausau, Wis. I heard about the news on the radio and saw the visuals when I arrived at the client’s house. I was stunned, shocked, heart broken and scared. That was the start of my journalism passion. I watched hours and hours of news coverage for months. I couldn’t get enough of the news.
Last Fall, I took a graduate class called “The State of the News Business,” taught by Jim Benes of WBBM radio. That class taught me the history of journalism and nurtured my passion for the field. Prof. Benes did a great job of highlighting and discussing how journalism changed after 9/11. Prior to 9/11, everything was about ratings, drama and money. The day of 9/11, advertisements stopped running to allow for 24 hours of news coverage. It was a day when Americans demanded news – good, quality news that provided them with the information about the attacks. We were taken back to the days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite. It was a sad day for America but a good day for journalism because it proved that Americans do want news. They want it when they need it. And as journalist, we always need to remember that. Though, we are back to a time when it’s about ratings and drama, and it may feel like no one cares about real news, we have to remember they do.