Ten years ago, a man that I loved since childhood died. I’ve been into Peter Jennings since I was a toddler. My mom tells me that I’d frantically ran around the living room, exclaiming “Petah Hennings! Petah Hennings!” when he appeared on the TV screen (I had a terrible lisp then). Other than being my very first celebrity crush, I think Peter is the reason I got into journalism. Many have their own opinion of who is the voice of our generation- for me, it’s Peter. When he died of lung cancer in 2005, I cried for two days. I lost a friend and trusted source.
Thanks to YouTube, I’m able to watch old clips of Peter. There is something about him that still moves me- his tone, his cadence, his reporting. Jennings existed in a time where journalists didn’t sensationalize, time where the only requirement to be a reporter wasn’t just to be a pretty blonde (looking to you, FOX). He was respected (and still is).
When I think about my own career, I hope to have one like Jennings (reporting from the war front and all). He too was a drop out (he dropped out of high school, while I left college) but he proved that hard work pays off. His integrity and determination to deliver the evening news each night is still incredibly admirable. With each time I write a piece, whether it’s for my blog or a serious story, I ask myself if Peter would approve of my story. Each I time, I think he will.
Thank you for always inspiring me, Peter. I hope you’re resting in peace.