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Becoming a journalist

Posted: Feb. 6, 2017 | Tags: interns

A panel of media professionals shared their back stories with reporters and journalism students at a PressReader forum on political coverage recently in Washington.

PressReader is a Canadian-based news community that offers all-you-can-read news access to newspapers and magazines around the globe.

Rick Klein, political director of ABC News, said it was the variety of experiences that drew him into the business.

 “There’s something about the ability to go and ask questions of people and experience things and learn something that to me is always compelling,” Klein said.

Ashley Codianni, director of social publishing at CNN, said she found her passion in journalism during a trip to Washington when she was in high school. 

“I peered in and I saw that Colin Powell was in a room talking to a bunch of reporters, so I ditched my class …and I walked in,” Codianni said. “I was suddenly standing with like three CNN reporters and people from the AP... I was just standing there and ‘Oh, my God, this is what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna work for CNN.’ ” 

“It’s the pace; and it’s the curiosity; and it’s the storytelling. You meet new people every day. You just talk and write for a living. Who doesn’t wanna do that?” she said.

Robert Costa, a national political reporter at The Washington Post, said years of experience in the business has strengthened the passion that brought him into journalism in the first place.

“You get to really think how power operates,” Costa said. “And to me that’s so enlightening every year … what power really is, how it’s not just about giving a speech, but how you manipulate media at times...” 

But passion alone is not enough, he said. 

“You have to have really thick skin because as much as it’s fun…People don’t like to be scrutinized,” Costa said. “People don’t like the attention unless they’re packaging it, writing and narrating it themselves.”

“It’s as rough a business as it is fun,” Costa said. 

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