Why be a journalist? It can be a difficult job with long hours, hard work and an uncertain future. Journalists face relentless criticism and an industry in transition. Aaron Chimbel has put together a collection of essays from working journalists who answer the question — why be a journalist? — with their personal stories of coming up, toiling in the field and writing important, career-defining stories. These journalists come from different platforms, beats and locations, offering varying accounts of the travails and rewards of being a working journalist across changing landscapes and timelines.

The essays in Why I’m a Journalist offer encouragement and wisdom about the path to being a reporter, a broadcaster, an editor or a media professional. This is a collection for students interested in the field, early upstarts engaged with building their careers and seasoned pros looking to learn from their colleagues. 

part |24 pages

Public affairs journalists

chapter |4 pages

Norah O’Donnell

Co-host of “CBS This Morning” and contributor to “60 Minutes”

chapter |7 pages

John F. Harris

Co-founder, publisher and editor-in-chief

chapter |5 pages

Perla Trevizo

Border reporter

chapter |6 pages

Ziva Branstetter


part |23 pages

International journalists

chapter |5 pages

Elise Hu

International correspondent and Seoul bureau chief

chapter |5 pages

Muhammad Lila

International correspondent

chapter |6 pages

Robyn Kriel


chapter |5 pages

Can Dündar

Former editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper

part |17 pages

Media journalists

chapter |7 pages

Eric Deggans

Television critic

chapter |4 pages

Brian Stelter

Senior media correspondent and host of “Reliable Sources”

chapter |4 pages

Kristen Hare


part |15 pages

Business journalists

chapter |5 pages

Karen Blumenthal

Journalist and author

chapter |4 pages

Kelli B. Grant

Personal finance and consumer reporter, CFP™

chapter |4 pages

Michael Schreiber


part |14 pages

Sports journalists

chapter |4 pages

Karen Crouse


chapter |4 pages

Mark Godich

Senior editor

chapter |4 pages

Joel Anderson

Senior national writer

part |14 pages

Print journalists

chapter |4 pages

Tawnell D. Hobbs

National education reporter

chapter |3 pages

Rose Baca

Staff photographer

chapter |5 pages

Lee Powell

Video reporter

part |20 pages

Broadcast journalists

chapter |3 pages

John Sharify

Contributing reporter at KING-TV in Seattle

chapter |4 pages

Michele Mitchell

Independent documentary filmmaker

chapter |3 pages

Carlos C. Hopkins

Executive producer

chapter |8 pages

Wayne Freedman

News reporter

part |15 pages

Digital journalists

chapter |4 pages

David Cohn

Senior director — Alpha Group

chapter |4 pages

Mila Sanina

Executive director and editor

chapter |5 pages

Steve Myers

Editor of The Lens

part |21 pages

Journalism leaders

chapter |5 pages

Aminda (Mindy) Marqués Gonzalez

Executive editor and vice president for news

chapter |5 pages

Peter Bhatia

Editor and vice president

chapter |3 pages

Susana Schuler

Executive vice president

chapter |6 pages

Jay Shaylor

Executive producer of “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer”

part |30 pages

Young journalists

chapter |4 pages

Alex Apple

Reporter/anchor at WCAX-TV, Burlington, Vermont

chapter |4 pages

Lexy Cruz

News producer

chapter |3 pages

Andrea Drusch

Congressional reporter

chapter |6 pages

Lauren Galippo

Associate producer

chapter |4 pages

Andrea Masenda

Assistant editor

chapter |4 pages

Ryan Osborne

Staff reporter

chapter |3 pages

Daniel Salazar

County government reporter on the Wichita Eagle

part |5 pages

Afterword: My life in journalism

chapter |3 pages

Bob Schieffer

CBS News legend