I have a passion for adversarial, investigative reporting focusing on politics, economics, education, social justice, war, and veterans’ issues.
When I joined the Army, right out of high school, I thought I had a pretty good handle on how the world worked, but my four years of service and three trips to Afghanistan as an Airborne Ranger turned my entire worldview on its head. The more my experiences in the military failed to match up with the narratives I believed, the more I questioned, the more I researched, and in the end, I emerged with a very new understanding of how the world works.
Journalism and media played an enormous role in both dispelling my naïve, just-world perspectives and forming those perspectives in the first place. The journalists and experts on FOX News (the usual background noise in my home growing up) had me sold on our wars in the Middle East: we were there to bring freedom and democracy. But when that explanation failed to hold up to my own experiences, I turned to journalists like Chris Hedges, Glenn Greenwald, John Pilger, and Alan Nairn, who told a side of the story I had never heard before.
The more I researched, the more I realized the power of journalism to direct public debate, sway public opinion, and mold people’s worldviews. Reporters have the power to speak for the oppressed, the downtrodden, and others whose voices are never heard or often ignored. They also have the power to sway elections and lead nations into war. It’s a power that comes with great responsibility, and I’ll never take that responsibility lightly.