MARCH 4, 1944
WASHINGTON, Friday—Last evening I went to listen to a class which Mr. Edward Vander Veen is giving to cub reporters, but I noticed a number of older reporters attended also. Mr. Vander Veen has great experience and background, and will undoubtedly give these young people a great deal that is valuable in their profession.
He impressed them with the fact that being a reporter is not glamorous. It is hard work. I could not help thinking that everything else in the world which is worth doing, is hard work. I doubt if any profession is really glamorous, but if you love your work, that makes it glamorous for you. As far as newspaper work goes, it has a number of angles which appeal to different types of people. It gives one a chance to see life, the seamy side along with the good side. Writing is an art, and like all arts it constantly dangles before you the chance to do better, and so you can never be bored.
I am quite sure that every writer finds as I do, that every time he goes over something he has written, he wants to change it a little. Sometimes writers want to tear their work up and start again, because they feel they have presented the subject from the wrong point of view. Sometimes they just want to change words so they can express the meaning more exactly. Sometimes they despair of ever putting into words what they feel and want others to feel.
If you are a good reporter you have a chance to study so many of the different aspects of the world about you, social questions, political questions, questions of national and international importance. You find yourself constantly being introduced to worlds of thought, and you are never without something to study. From my point of view it is a satisfactory profession, if not a glamorous one.
Mr. Vander Veen emphasized the necessity of having your facts and telling the truth as well as you can. One young girl said afterwards: "It looks to me as though you have to wait until you are a columnist before you can be a crusader." I wonder if it isn't being a crusader to learn to give facts and to try to get the truth before the readers of a paper. It is not easy for the average person to get at the truth. Even a statement which results from one person's honest search is helpful to many people.
This morning I am going to a christening of the baby son of Mr. and Mrs. Hans Habe. I am to be godmother. It is always flattering to have people ask one to assume this responsibility for their child.