Although I have always been an avid reader and I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a writer, most of you may not know that my dream in high school and college was to be a journalist. And not just any journalist…I wanted to be a kick-ass journalist, like Mike Wallace, among others. To say his death saddened me is an understatement. It brought back memories of that high-spirited girl who looked at life and all that was placed before her and said, “Bring it on. I’m not afraid. I can do anything. I can change the world.”
Mike Wallace was a hardcore reporter and interviewer who never backed down to politicians, celebrities and other media figures in his 60-year career. His on-air confrontations helped make “60 Minutes” one of the most successful television news programs ever. As a budding reporter myself back in the day, I was often awed and sometimes even amused at the information he could acquire from people…powerful people…important people. The way he read faces and body language, evoked emotion and got the story when others couldn’t was more than talent, it was magical. It was inspiring. I know it inspired me.
I was the editor-in-chief of my high school newspaper that didn’t even exist until I said, “Hey, I don’t want to work on the yearbook. I want to be a reporter.” And I was also the editor-in-chief of my college newspaper. Being a reporter taught me how to fact-find, dig deeper, leave no stone unturned and even solve mysteries once all the facts were neatly stacked in front of me. Those years of studying as a journalist have made me a better fiction writer, so for that I’m thankful. I’m grateful for Mike Wallace, and all the other journalists who sparked that fire for investigation in this small town girl who’s dreams have always been bigger than her surroundings.
He will be missed…
’til next time~