Just doing our job

A lot of people just don’t respect us. They hate our opinions; they hate our facts. I’ve come to the conclusion that we have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Now, I’m not knocking any other jobs such as a police officer, military official, medical worker, etc. I’m just saying that sometimes our lives are put on the line as much as other dangerous jobs. Recently, a reporter by the name of John Mattes was attacked brutally by a couple. Mattes was doing an investigative piece on a real estate scam. Mattes just happened to cross paths with the broker he was investigating. In a recorded clip (which can now be seen on YouTube), Mattes is shown being assaulted by the broker’s girlfriend and the broker. Mattes suffered some injuries, but he could have been killed. The broker’s girlfriend went to the car, searching for a gun. This is sad. We do our jobs and we can be killed for doing it well. I know for a fact that I’ve made some enemies for some of the stories I have written. It’s sad that I have to feel guarded when I walk around campus. I had my car broken into twice last semester. I honestly believe someone targeted my car in both attacks, but then again, it could be a coincidence. I’m not too worried about it, as they probably didn’t get what they were looking for, but I still could’ve lost something valuable. This summer, I did an internship with The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. While interning, I met some of the brightest student journalists in the world. There, I met a guy by the name of Brandon Oliver. He works for The Famuan, Florida A&M University’s newspaper. The paper just ran a series of controversial stories. One story was about 74 band members who had been suspended or dismissed from the band due to academic problems or committing crimes. Needless to say, the band is HOT. They are mad that the article ran and have threatened my compadre and other Famuan staff. However, I commend The Famuan for standing strong against the harsh criticism. People need to realize that it’s easier to get information. A lot of people are willing to talk, and reporters are the gateway to information. There have been a lot of incidents going on around campus, and they will be reported. It may not be in the reported in the next edition of The Gramblinite, but it will be reported. We get calls all the time about stories we wrote years ago. Some are threats; others are words of wisdom. Whether you like it or not, we have a job to do. You can get mad and say what you want, as that is your right. However, you cannot stop the truth from coming out. My fellow journalists and I have an obligation to tell the public what’s going on. By the way, news spread quicker than anything. At least most journalists try to obtain the truth before reporting it.Darryl Smith is a senior mass communication major from Monroe.