Journalism is About People

Growing up, I had a problem.

I wanted to talk to everybody and learn their stories.

This is a photo of me that was used in a column about pick-up lines.
Andrew Pantazi, student journalist at the University of Florida

I had this crazy belief that everybody has a story worth hearing, and I didn't care who they were, I wanted to hear everybody's story.

Partially, I blame my grandmothers. They loved telling stories. But why shouldn't they? They lived through some of the most exciting times I can imagine. I heard so many stories about my Irish uncles who fought in World War II while still underage, my Greek great-grandmother who was brought to America as a slave, and my mom growing up in the Bronx under the belief that whites were a minority who could only find jobs as actors. (She didn't learn that whites weren't a minority until she was in her teens.)

Nowadays, I still love hearing people's stories. However, something's changed. I learned that now I can listen to stories and write about them, and I'll be paid for it. This process is called journalism. And I would rather be a reporter than an accountant, a CEO, a doctor, a lawyer or almost any other career I can imagine. (Okay, I admit that if I could be a rock star, then I might choose that over being a journalist. But I would still keep a blog and be a rock star/journalist.)