My bags are packed…

Traveling for work can be work in and of itself, but there’s nothing like showing up at a school or a parking lot with a camera and a tripod in the back of my car, ready to tell a story that I (or my editor) thought so important that I traveled across the country to tell it.

Last week, I spent four days in the southern tip of Texas, working with a colleague on a story about educating migrant laborers and their children. We probably drove around 1,000 miles all around this school district interviewing school officials, students, and one particular success story; a student who had migrated from Texas to Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan for more than 10 years during his childhood who is now slated to graduate from Michigan State University next spring.

As a journalist, I can sit at my desk and do all the research in the world, but nothing compares to actually going out and talking to the people I’m reporting about. There is something intangible about seeing these people in their natural surroundings, rather than interviewing them over the phone. And since I lean towards visual journalism, it’s necessary.

This coming week, I’ll be in Boston and Denver working on a story about school choice and how parents and educators are helping students navigate the increasingly complex world of public education. And, in addition to the mediocre hotels and (sometimes) worse food, I hope that being there, and seeing the worlds of educators, parents, and other interested parties will help me to tell a story that is both informative and interesting, in a way that reporting from my desk never could.