By Keeley Sheehan
I started writing this blog. I got about 150 words in and deleted it all.
I was going to write about the fatal stabbing that happened in the University Heights over the weekend, but all my post would have said is that I went with Ren to the block where it happened because he was covering the story, and that I basically just sat in the car, scared and a little bit freaked out that A MURDER HAPPENED TEN FEET FROM WHERE I WAS SITTING and how my reaction made me wonder how much I’m really cut out for the newspaper biz.
But then I remembered that something comes up on an almost weekly basis that makes me wonder if I’m really cut out for the newspaper biz. I forget about research. I have trouble with ledes. I get nervous going to the Heights.
But I also covered Steve Lopez’s lecture last week as part of the Distinguished Speaker series. He talked about how he almost switched from journalism to a career as a mental health aid but that his friendship with Nathaniel, the homeless musician he met on the streets of LA who has schizophrenia, helped him see, even after 35 years, that journalism was still right for him.
“What Nathaniel did with this story was remind me that I had my own passion and I should hold onto it and do it as long as I could,” he said.
That’s why I think I’ll be OK, and that I have a future in journalism, even if I doubt myself sometimes. Steve Lopez has been in the business for years, as a sports reporter, a news reporter and a columnist, covering everything from natural disasters to the Olympics.
But what I saw Wednesday night wasn’t some hot-shot reporter with a couple of book deals in his back pocket. He was just a guy who goes to work and does his job and tries to do the best he can, even if he’s not always sure of himself. During the course of the evening, someone asked him how he handles writing about sensitive issues that get people fired up, and how he balances his writing and picks his words carefully enough so that people will see his point.
I don’t remember verbatim what he said but it basically summed up to the fact that he’s still trying to figure that out.
I am, too. And I’m OK with that.