I recommend reading Tracy Simmons’ account of why she’s a religion reporter.
I’ve followed Tracy’s career since we met about a decade ago, when I was leading a writing workshop before a Religion Newswriters Association conference. She’s an excellent reporter and entrepreneur who developed the successful religion site Spokane FAVS, covering faith and values in Spokane, Wash. She also teaches journalism at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.
This week’s post — about her life growing up in a cult and her estrangement from her mother, who remains in the cult — illustrates the power of personal journalism. I won’t try to summarize her post further here, but I hope you will read it and listen to her talk about her experience.
Too many journalists are too reluctant to tell the powerful personal stories in their own lives, or in their pursuit of the news. I also won’t elaborate on this topic further, but here are links where I’ve addressed personal journalism before: