Dear reader,

I'm a journalist who has done all kinds of journalism. I've worked in the graphics department of a newspaper, been a general-assignment reporter at an NPR memeber station, a photographer for a tv news station, a videographer for a local newspaper, and done social media strategy, analytics and community outreach for that same newspaper. I also interned at the Student Press Law Center.

So what does that mean about me? Well, for one thing I'm what I like to call a continuous learner. In every one of those positions I had to walk into a newsroom where the practices and expectations where entirely different and in each case I was able to adapt quickly and find ways to challenge myself and improve my work. One of the most challenging- and rewarding- aspects of journalism is having to cover stories on something you don't know much about: having to become an expert in a topic really quickly, create a story about it, disseminate the information and then turn around the next day and do it all over again.

But I like a good challenge. I enjoy being in situations where I am fully engaged and actively using my skills. Some of my best work happens in situations where I don't feel comfortable, whether that be putting together a Storify of community reactions to the breaking news of a politician's death or going into a school to do a feature piece and ending up covering the gas leak that happened while I was there.

The reason I love journalism is because I love story telling and I love connecting with people. I'm an introvert by nature and journalism makes me brave. It makes me talk to people I don't know and dig deeper with my questions when it would be easier to just let things go. Journalism isn't easy for me. Every time I take a deep breath and approach someone for an interview or to get data for a graphic, I'm doing it because I value the work. And that makes me good at it.

Respectfully yours,

Danielle Dieterich