GTN Presents: Byron Pitts

April 9th, 2013

In this exclusive clip, Byron Pitts tells us what being a reporter means to him.

Byron Pitts on Being a Reporter.
For me being a journalist is the greatest job on earth. It’s not brain surgery, we’re not generally speaking saving lives day to day but I think it’s important, honorable work. I think it is a vital part of our democracy, a free press, it’s one of the things that distinguishes us from other parts of the world. That we have a free press, that people can wake up in the morning and feel fairly comfortable that the info they get is based on truth, based on facts. That is uniquely American in some ways.

As a journalist I see my job fairly simple. It is my job to give voice to the voiceless. It’s my job to shed light in dark places. It’s my job to comfort the inflicted and afflict the comfortable, and that’s what I seek to do every day. For me journalism is very personal, it is a contact sport. There is an intimacy in television. Part of the reason I go places around the world to tell stories, whether it’s the earthquake in Haiti, the war in Afghanistan or Iraq is that I think that in order to tell stories effectively you have to have skin in the game. If that means compromising or putting in question your own safety, then that’s important. I think that when things happen around the world in America’s name, in our interest, then Americans have the right to know. If we send our sons and daughters to places around the world like Iraq and Afghanistan than there should be journalists there to document what our sons and daughters are asked to do in our nation’s name. Sometimes for the good and sometimes not for the good; and that’s what I do for a living.