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Im a journalist because I enjoy helping people understand their community, country and world. Journalism is a public service and Im proud to be part of it.
President, Society of Professional Journalists
Why am I a journalist? Because it is what I was born to do. I love telling peoples stories, especially the stories of the disenfranchised. Everyday there is a new story to tell, and I love that.
Executive Director, Society of Professional Journalists
I am a journalist because I want to make a difference.
Investigative Reporter, Indianapolis Star
I am a journalist because my community needs someone to tell its stories.
Freelance Writer, Editor and Publisher
Im a journalist because theres no substitute for a well-informed public.
Morning Edition Host / Producer, Maine Public Radio
I am a journalist because helping people learn more about their community the good, the bad, the flawed, the inspiring, etc. helps us all to make better decisions and hold each other accountable.
Homepage producer, Washington Post
I am a journalist because my job gives me the opportunity to share stories that inform, educate and sometimes even inspire.
Group Editor-in-Chief, Virginia, NC and SC Lawyers Weekly
I am a journalist because I want my country and its people to be healthy, educated and just.
Assistant Professor of Journalism at Indiana State University
I was a journalism professor because nothing is more important to a democracy than a free press and reporters who pursue truth.
Professor Emeritus, Executive Associate Dean Emeritus, Indiana University School of Journalism
I am a journalist because truth matters. It informs citizens to make decisions and protects our democracy. Truth is what I teach my children and so it is what I owe them.
Broadcasting Professor, University of Cincinnati
I became a journalist because I believe in being a truth-teller, which is very important to my family's Cherokee heritage. Combine that with my very strong sense of fairness and a deep love of writing, and I was just born to be a journalist.
Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Media, University of Idaho
I'm a journalist because the public depends on truthful accounts about decisions by those in power.
SPJ Region 2 Director
I am a journalist because I wanted to write about rock'n'roll and ended up rocking the First Amendment.
Projects Editor, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
By Jerry Zremski
The Buffalo News
Rebel soldiers raced through the village in the mountains of eastern Burma, barking a warning. They saw Burmese troops approaching, bearing rifles and flamethrowers.
Nay Htoo felt his mothers hand on his shoulder rousing him. Bleary-eyed and confused, the 9-year-old tossed on his one set of clothes, gathered his most prized possessions and rushed out of the bamboo hut he called home.
He dashed into the jungle with a satchel of schoolbooks slung over his shoulder and his puppy a brown and white mutt no bigger than a football clutched to his chest. He struggled to keep up with his family and other villagers as they cut a path into the mountains, stumbling in the darkness, afraid to light a torch.
The little boy heard gunfire back in his hometown, the Karen ethnic village of Kwee Ler Shu. At war with the Karen rebel army, the Burmese soldiers shot the livestock and burned the town to the ground.
And so it was, on a sticky summer night in 1981, that Nay Htoo found himself shoved onto the refugee road.
Read more [buffalonews.com]
By Josh Salman, Emily Le Coz and Elizabeth Johnson
Sarasota Herald Tribune
Justice has never been blind when it comes to race in Florida. Blacks were first at the mercy of slave masters. Then came Jim Crow segregation and the Ku Klux Klan.
Now, prejudice wears a black robe.
Half a century after the civil rights movement, trial judges throughout Florida sentence blacks to harsher punishment than whites, a Herald-Tribune investigation found.
They offer blacks fewer chances to avoid jail or scrub away felonies.
They give blacks more time behind barssometimes double the sentences of whites accused of the same crimes under identical circumstances.
Read more [PDF]
By Naomi Zeveloff
Between 1991 and 1996, seven Israeli and Palestinian children starred in a Canadian documentary series about life in Jerusalem. Though they grew up within miles of one another, they lived worlds apart, never to meet. A quarter-century later, I set out to find them.
I learned about the obscure series, called Children of Jerusalem, from my editor. He had learned about it from his 6-year-old daughter, who discovered it while surfing the Internet for shows about children from faraway lands. I wonder if it would be interesting to do something about where the kids in the film wound up and what happened to the filmmaker, my editor said in an email. It sounded like a story and possibly an adventure.
The piece was also an opportunity to look at how Jerusalem shapes its children. Israelis often tell me that the only people who can appreciate Jerusalem are those who grew up there, as if a childhood spent in the white stone city unlocks it for a lifetime.
I was mystified by Jerusalem when I visited it for the first time, at 12, roughly the age of the children in the film series. But when I returned there to live as a foreign correspondent in 2014, I found it utterly stifling. Like so many secular people, I decamped to Tel Aviv, returning to Jerusalem only for work. Could these seven people, now my own age, help me understand and appreciate their city?
Read more [forward.com]
By Lenny Bernstein, David S. Fallis and Scott Higham
The Washington Post
A decade ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that was claiming thousands of American lives each year.
The DEA began to target wholesale companies that distributed hundreds of millions of highly addictive pills to the corrupt pharmacies and pill mills that illegally sold the drugs for street use.
Leading the campaign was the agencys Office of Diversion Control, whose investigators around the country began filing civil cases against the distributors, issuing orders to immediately suspend the flow of drugs and generating large fines.
But the industry fought back. Former DEA and Justice Department officials hired by drug companies began pressing for a softer approach. In early 2012, the deputy attorney general summoned the DEAs diversion chief to an unusual meeting over a case against two major drug companies.
That meeting was to chastise me for going after industry, and thats all that meeting was about, recalled Joseph T. Rannazzisi, who ran the diversion office for a decade before he was removed from his position and retired in 2015.
Read more [PDF]
By Katelyn Ferral
The Capital Times
KING, Wisconsin Walter Sundling wanted to live at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King.
Held captive by the Nazis during World War II after his plane was shot down over Germany, the 90-year-old Air Force veteran was healthy when he asked to move to the community surrounded by southern pines he visited as a child. He had his own apartment at an assisted living facility in Madison, but wanted to be near others who had served their country, at the home between Stevens Point and Oshkosh.
He said, Id love to be with veterans. Id really like to be with my own kind and Ive heard so many good things about King, said Sundlings daughter, Sharon Blando, who lives in Milwaukee. He was just so happy to be with the vets.
Two years later, Blando said, the Purple Heart recipient developed gastrointestinal bleeding from untreated constipation. Two heart attacks followed and Sundling later died, the result, Blando claims, of widespread neglect at Wisconsins largest state-run, skilled nursing facility. Despite her fathers advanced age, Blando believes abysmal care at King expedited his death last year.
Read more [madison.com]
David A. Fahrenthold
The Washington Post
In the fall of 1996, a charity called the Association to Benefit Children held a ribbon-cutting in Manhattan for a new nursery school serving children with AIDS. The boldface names took seats up front.
There was then-Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (R) and former mayor David Dinkins (D). TV stars Frank and Kathie Lee Giford, who were major donors. And there was a seat saved for Steven Fisher, a developer who had given generously to build the nursery.
Then, all of a sudden, there was Donald Trump.
Nobody knew he was coming, said Abigail Disney, another donor sitting on the dais. Theres this kind of ruckus at the door, and I dont know what was going on, and in comes Donald Trump. [He] just gets up on the podium and sits down.
Trump was not a major donor. He was not a donor, period. Hed never given a dollar to the nursery or the Association to Benefit Children, according to Gretchen Buchenholz, the charitys executive director then and now.
But now he was sitting in Fishers seat, next to Giuliani.
Read more [PDF]
By Vladimir Duthiers, Judy Tygard, Chris Young Ritzen, Michelle Fanucci, Nancy Kramer, Ruth Chenetz and Susan Zirinsky
By Lara Greenberg and Kyle Cooper
WHP CBS 21
By Blake Essig and Albert Lutan
By Brian Ross, James Gordon Meek, Brian Epstein, Megan Christie and Rhonda Schwartz
20/20, ABC News