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Curiosity and courage, I said, are essential characteristics for being a great journalist and producing great journalism.
That comment apparently struck two aspiring journalists because they approached me following a recent panel discussion about diversity at Colorado State University. They wanted more.
Curiosity, I explained, allows journalists to ponder the reality of the world around them. By putting aside assumptions of knowing how life is, great journalists can spark their desires to learn or know more about people and their circumstances.
Courage enables journalists to ask about all the things they are curious about without fear. Or, to borrow somewhat from Star Trek, to go places no one has gone before. Courage enables people to move outside of their comfort zones to talk with people they might not otherwise interview or to broach subjects that may be sensitive or challenging. That combination of curiosity and courage is what produces great journalism.