The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update


April 27, 2014

Scott Underwood: Why we became journalists

Journalists get into the profession for a variety of reasons.

For some, it's the thrill of seeing their byline in print or online. For others, it's the challenge of the creative process — to produce engaging, informative stories, photos and videos.

Or it's the opportunity to satisfy curiosity about the world at large by interviewing experts and delving into research.

Or it's the thrill of chasing down the big story, whether it's a four-alarm fire, a championship showdown or an investigative report about public corruption.

Or it's the desire to tap into the rich journalism job market and become extravagantly wealthy. (Yeah, right!)

For many journalists, the motivation to join the profession is a variety of these factors. But perhaps the most common incentive is the desire to make the world a better place.

This motivation can manifest itself in many forms. For some journalists, it means chronicling life for the sake of history. For others, it might mean exposing injustice. Or entertaining. Or educating. Or supporting effective public policy.

It also means telling stories and helping people.

These last two goals have driven much of our reporting on the Sperry family in the aftermath of the car crash that killed Jesse Sperry.

Jesse was riding in a car driven by his wife, Rebecca, after a Sunday, April 6, church service, heading west on Indiana 32 between Anderson and Lapel. Their car was struck from behind by an SUV driven by off-duty Edgewood police officer James D. Foutch.

Police estimate Foutch was going 92 mph. They believe he was high on Xanax and hydrocodone. He has been suspended from the police force and faces criminal prosecution.

Rebecca was nine months pregnant at the time of the accident and, in fact, was scheduled to have labor induced that afternoon. She suffered several serious injuries, but is on her way to a full recovery.

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