This past weekend, as I went out and about town, I ran into people who thanked me for my work, many of whom I didn’t recognize at first by face.

It’s a good feeling.

As a lot of you know, being in journalism is not a financially lucrative career. Money is not why most of us get into the field. It’s not really for the recognition either, especially as print journalists, who aren’t as visible or recognizable compared to TV anchors or even radio journos whose voices become familiar to their listeners. 

We do it because we love it. 

Of course, seeing your byline in print is still a thrill all these years and articles later.

So when people thank me on the street or send notes of gratitude, I always thank them back and save them when I can.

But I wanted to take some time to thank you, too.

Because really, without the work of the people in the community — the ones who walk the streets, the ones who lead the protests, the ones who show up to city council meetings, to school board meetings, to county commission meetings, the ones who speak out when there’s injustice — we wouldn’t have much to write about.

Our work exists because of you.

Brian likes to think about the work of journalism as two symbols: the lantern and the mirror. One shines a light into the darkness while the other reflects society back on itself. But most times, I like to think about the work that I do as a megaphone. An amplifier.

I think of myself more like a conduit, a vessel through which stories are told. A translator of sorts.

And like a vessel, my role is to hold things and let them pass through me. As a translator, to make stories more easily understood and digestible. But I’m not creating the story. That’s on you.

So thank you for the work that you do. For the efforts that you put into this community to make it better. Because I wouldn’t be here doing what I do, without you doing you.

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