At the start of a new academic year, journalism students across campuses—my own included—begin the hunt for stories. They dig into their communities and jump across ideas, hungry to report the latest trend or discovery or event. It's good work and good preparation for their lives, and careers, ahead.
Unfortunately, in our viral world, news organizations can have short memories when it comes to the industry's foundations. That's why we need professionals who will remind the next generation how the cornerstone of truth builds both a story and a culture. Like Salem News reporter Steve Landwehr did a year ago in my class. He looked right at those young reporters and said, "Journalism is the best job in the world. You get to make a difference every day. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!"
How'd he know that? Because he made a difference each day: with stories that uncovered government corruption or inspiring local heroes. We've lost Steve's byline; he died unexpectedly last month. But his commitment, like the foundations for journalism, never will. They ensure our truth telling for the future.