Summary

Many journalists, at some point in their careers, have had an “Ah-hah!” moment -- a sudden realization about the impact of their work or the work of their colleagues. Many of the journalists interviewed for the WNN report provided a single anecdote about an event that helped them understand and appreciate the power and purpose of journalism. We are sharing those epiphanies here.

Click on the photos to view each anecdote.

Interviews 21 - 30 of 117 BACK  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  NEXT Page size:  10 | 20 | 50
Ephiphany photo

Zach Ahrens

Advertising Director, The Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks, ND

Zach Ahrens had his “a ha” moment while he was publisher of two small weekly newspapers. Presidential candidates would stop by and court the newspapers. “It reminded me of the credibility of the product that we have,” says Ahrens.

Ephiphany photo

Kirsten Stromsodt

Assigning Editor, The Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks, ND

Kirsten Stromsodt was a senior in high school when the Red River flooded in 1997. She was assigned by her family to pick up the daily newspaper when it was distributed every afternoon at a local gas station. She remembers people crowded around The Herald’s newspaper truck as they tossed off the papers. “It still gives me chills,” says Stromsodt. “We serve a purpose and people think we are important.”

Ephiphany photo

Mike Jacobs

Editor & Publisher, The Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks, ND

Mike Jacobs had an early epiphany when he was a cub reporter in Dickinson, N.D. He covered a combined city council, county commissioners meeting at which the commissioners did not come prepared. When he reported that fact the next day, one of the commissioners called him and said another meeting had been scheduled, and “he was bringing his books.” I learned “the value of writing something down and sharing it,” says Jacobs.

Ephiphany photo

Seth Tupper

Editor, The Daily Republic
Mitchell, SD

Seth Tupper had an “a ha” moment when he dug into a story at city hall and discovered someone had bollixed inserting a sidewalk ordinance city officials thought was on the books. His digging paid off, and he wonders: “If we were not here, who’s going to do this kind of reporting?”

Ephiphany photo

Korrie Wenzel

Publisher, The Daily Republic
Mitchell, SD

Korrie Wenzel learned key lessons about the “dos and don’ts of intrusiveness” after a tornado hit Spencer, S.D. He also discovered, in several ways, how “newspapers make a difference.”

Ephiphany photo

Mike Knaak

Assistant Managing Editor/Digital, St. Cloud Times
St. Cloud, MN

Mike Knaak felt the authority of the press when he wrote a story about plans to expand high-voltage power lines through the region. “That story stills lives in people’s lives,” says Knaak. “People paid attention; it’s not just an exercise.”

Ephiphany photo

John Bodette

Executive Editor, St. Cloud Times
St. Cloud, MN

John Bodette learned the power of the press when the two daughters of a local couple both disappeared. “It was so emotional to hear the story of what the parents were going through,” says Bodette. “The world is out of sync until we find out what happened to [those children],” says Bodette.

Ephiphany photo

Scott Johnson

President and Publisher, St. Cloud Times
St. Cloud, MN

Scott Johnson learned the power of the press when his newspaper printed an incorrect price in an ad for one of the newspaper’s clients. “What you say will go a long way,” says Johnson, and on that occasion it went the wrong way as well.

Ephiphany photo

Tim McDougall

VP Products & Publisher, The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette
Cedar Rapids, IA

Tim McDougall is a new entrant into journalism from the food, beverage and professional sports marketing industries. He has been at The (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) Gazette since 2010. As a newcomer, he is learning lessons frequently. When a vote on a tax levy to pay for flood protection in Cedar Rapids failed narrowly, he believes his newspaper did not dig deep enough to discover the undercurrent of community sentiment against the measure. He sees it as a lesson to look beyond traditional sources to get at the full story.

Ephiphany photo

Laurie Pfeifer

Managing Editor, Aurora News-Register
Aurora, NE

Laurie Pfeifer got a dream assignment in college – cover a Robert Kennedy presidential campaign whistle-stop for her journalism class. Then the other shoe dropped. She also had to cover a Richard Nixon whistle-stop. She was a Kennedy fan, but her professor told her she would be graded “on fair and balanced reporting.” She learned that accuracy trumps personal feelings, and it’s a lesson she still practices.

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