Why go into journalism?

Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning storyteller with the Tampa Bay Times. She hosts a wonderful podcast about writing, and this week’s is titled “Five Reasons to Go into Journalism.”

She and Maria Carillo, the enterprise editor at the Times, have an insightful and charming discussion about the five reasons. And every sentiment they express and story they tell is exactly right.

Here are the five:

*We love the duality of journalism. What this means is that journalists go out in the world and talks with people they wouldn’t normally talk with, see things they wouldn’t normally see, and learn things they wouldn’t normally learn. Then, they can retreat into their heads, think what they’ve seen and learned, and write about it.

*We love being surrounded by smart, funny, creative people. Ask any journalist who has left the business if he or she misses it and the most common answer is, “I miss the people.” The loving, black humor embrace in a newsroom is like nothing else.

*We love always knowing what’s going on. Scratch a journalist and you’ll find a gossip, maybe even before you find a storyteller.

*We love making a difference. I always tell people that journalists change the world.

*We love learning something new literally every day. Every day is different. It’s impossible to get bored as a journalist. And you’re either interviewing interesting people or reading and shooting interesting stories.

Several of these get to what most journalists say: It’s a calling. Journalism is a public good, and journalists can serve democracy.

Yes, there are also five reasons not to go into journalism, beginning with you’ll never be rich and it has an uncertain future. But you’ll have fun and be fulfilled. That makes a good life.