Logan Jaffe is ProPublica Illinois’ engagement reporter, which means she helps us reach new audiences and involve them in our reporting. In the second in a series of Q&As with ProPublica Illinois staffers, she chats with ProPublica Emerging Reporter Andrea Salcedo.
What inspired you to become a reporter?
I’ve kept my own journal since probably third or fourth grade. I think it was in fifth grade or sixth grade that my mom said, “Journalism? Why don’t you become a journalist?” I’ve actually wanted to be a journalist since probably then. I started working on my high school newspaper the earliest that I could. It was only supposed to be for juniors and seniors, but I convinced the teacher to let me in sophomore year.
What has been your most rewarding experience as a journalist?
There are many times when I’m out reporting and I’m just like, “Wow, I get to do this as my job!” The most rewarding experience is having it be my responsibility to get out and talk to people who I probably wouldn’t be able to talk to on my own and to do it for a greater purpose.
What are you interested in investigating with ProPublica Illinois?
I’m very interested in history and race and the way that race is experienced, understood and lived today (see: this Curious City story, this project about racist objects I did at The New York Times and this Instagram series called Awkward Race Questions). There’s a lot of potential and a lot of work to be done in retelling historical narratives and connecting them more to the present policies, people and neighborhoods. I want to be able to reframe the way people often understand where they live, and how it got to be that way.
Who are some of your favorite journalists?
Nikole Hannah-Jones is a huge role model. She does a lot of the kind of work that I aspire to do, which is looking at history and prompting people to dig a bit further back than the news cycle. She takes these moments throughout history and ties them together and then challenges you to rethink so many other things. That’s really important and unique.
What reporting and/or storytelling techniques do you want to learn or experiment with at ProPublica Illinois?
I want to partner with organizations that are beyond other newsrooms, like working with local theater groups or just exploring different ways that journalism can relate to other forms of communication that you might not traditionally think of as news media. Journalists haven’t really branched out beyond the newsroom environment. I’m really interested in not speaking to the internet all the time.
What’s the biggest lesson journalism has taught you?
That there are always more stories. There’s always work. There’s always more. No story is ever done.