Why I Love My Job: Multimedia Investigative Producer
By Lynn Walsh
Most of my friends don’t get it. “Why are you following (insert elected officials name here) around?”
My family still sometimes doesn’t understand why when they watch a story I produced they don’t see my face on camera. “That was great Lynn, but we didn’t see you. Was that the correct link?”
And on first dates, let’s just say, they seem to think it means I work with James Bond. “So, you go undercover all the time? Hide out in vans? Cool!”
And the reality is my job is cool (or at least I think so.)
I get to write, research, shoot video, play with new interactive web tools, ask questions that make people uncomfortable but provide answers for the community and most importantly make a difference in people’s lives.
Everyday isn’t perfect and some days are more frustrating than you know: all I want is the answer to what you think would be a simple question, but after being re-directed to eight different offices, leaving voicemails and waiting for return phone calls, a day can pass by and you still may not have the answer.
But, once the story airs and the viewers thank you for telling their story or exposing a fraud, it makes it all worth while.
At the end of the day I love my job because I get to work with people, all types of people, from all walks of life. I get to share their stories and expose how they have been wronged. I am lucky enough to be given the time to ask the government, businesses and people, questions about what they really are doing and why.
Each and every day I am lucky enough to practice two of America’s basic principles: freedom of speech and access to information.
Some people tease me about how excited I get about new data or public information that gets released. And in all fairness, they are right. I get excited about the new, previously-unknown and sometimes minute details. But, it is those pieces of information and that kind of data that (I like to think) would not be public knowledge if it wasn’t for investigative journalists like me who spend their lives asking for it and fighting for it.
It’s information that although is supposed to be public is sometimes hard to obtain, hard to disseminate and even harder to understand. It’s information that everyone has a right to, but not something everyone has time to obtain.
In my job I get to dig deeply into societal concerns, make sense of data, and attempt to explain government spending and politicians and business’ actions.
And I get paid to do it — something I am grateful for everyday.
Lynn Walsh is an Investigative Producer for WPTV-TV in West Palm Beach, Florida and chair of the SPJ Generation J Committee. Connect with her on Twitter, @LWalsh or shoot her an email: Lynn.K.Walsh@gmail.com.
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