I felt so lucky and grateful to have Donna Ladd talked with us last week. As a senior journalist and columnist, she had already gone though many stories and difficulties, it is helpful and inspiring to have her share these things to us.
From Donna’s story, I could felt that she is a powerful and brave woman. As grown in a small town and raised by an illiterate mother, Donna became one of the first in her family to go to college.
I could imagine how hard that was because my father is also the first one in his family who was able to go to college in a big city. Just like my father told me, there were too many difficulties that he would never forget. Although, Donna only talked about that period of time in several understated words I believed that Donna also had faced to many difficulties. Within her mother’s encouragement, Donna made it, and then started to use her gift of writing to change her life.
For Donna, going back to Mississippi after she got master’s degree at Columbia University was the most important decision she made and it was also the turning point of her life. I was impressed by her brave decision because normally ambitious young people who had successfully gained good diplomas with in a big city would try their best to stay at the big city. They might be attracted by the fast-paced lifestyles, fancy stores and most importantly-the opportunities which only big city has. However, Donna made a decision to go back to her hometown and do something for the land raised her.
People say pen is writer’s weapon and word is their bullet. Donna started her Jackson Free Press, even this job might not be paid very well but she still insisted to do that. I think this is because she loves and cares about Mississippi, she wants to bring the truth and facts to her readers and help people there to find their justice and equity. She definitely uses all her knowledges and techniques she learned from big city to help this small town to grown, just like this place had once raised her. It is not about profit, salary or fame, it is just about help her hometown.
Donna also give advices to us and the most important one to myself is that be strong enough to choose what you want to do. In these days, as a journalist, you may not only be expected know how to write a story, but also take photos and have ability to create video. There is always something you do not want to do but have to do. But Donna told us that we need learned to be stronger to have more choices.
One thought on “Short but Impressive Meeting with Donna”
“Although, Donna only talked about that period of time in several understated words I believed that Donna also had faced to many difficulties.”
Good journalists read below the surface and feel what people are telling you. You are a good listener and clearly empathetic—valuable skills for a journalist (and a good person!). Thank you so much for hearing what I was saying. We all have pain, and we can use it go be great. I live by the mantra: “Excellent work is the best response (or revenge, if someone has been a real pass in the ass.).
You’ve got this. Forge your path, and give it your all, and your work will matter.