Editor’s Desk: When Passion is Enough as a Journalist

Editor-in-Chief Austin Hojdar reflects on his passion for journalism.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about journalism as a profession. 

Even though working with The Loyola Phoenix does ultimately feel like a full-time job, I still have lingering fears about what my professional life will be like after college. 

Loyola’s School of Communication hosted the Bill Plante Conversation on Monday, and I was honored to be invited as the editor-in-chief of The Phoenix. The event honored renowned journalist and Loyola alum Bill Plante, who died last September.

I was able to meet some industry legends like Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” — and “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” — and Plante’s family. Throughout the conversation and the luncheon before, I was constantly in awe of the passion these people and Plante had for the profession of journalism. 

Plante was a reporter through the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement and five presidential cabinets. That’s passion.

I’ve noticed a lot of my journalism classes over the past few years have begun to include a brief — but poignant — section about mental health. 

Maybe this is just a product of the times we’re living in. The conversation around mental health has never been more ingrained in American culture than it is today. But it does scare me. 

When I’m already being met with warnings about the mental toll my desired profession can take before I’ve fully entered it, I begin to question a lot. 

But at the end of the day, I have to think about passion and when passion is enough to look past certain things

I don’t think I’ll ever produce stories anywhere near that of Plante. I don’t know if I want to. And that’s OK. 

Thank you to Robin Smith, Plante’s widow, for inviting me this past Monday. It meant the world. In news, read about the conversation between some of Plante’s dearest colleagues.

Featured image by Austin Hojdar / The Phoenix

Austin Hojdar

Austin Hojdar