Sunday, August 19, 2007

Access Granted

When I entered college I knew I liked to write, but I never thought I would become a reporter. Sometimes I still don't think I fit the mold. I am naturally curious, but on the other hand, my curiosity hasn't given me the intrusiveness that a journalist sometimes needs to have. I'm personable, but I'm not that outgoing, so approaching people I barely know is not my forte. I don't like the idea of becoming the snoopy journalist who rids himself of decency in the name of "getting the story."

That's where my job is cool. As a small, international business publication, GlobalAtlanta's philosophy is to build relationships through reporting. In other words, I'm responsible for getting an accurate story, but incumbent in that responsibility is facilitating a healthy relationship with and between businesspeople. As a result, I've been able to meet a number of important people on good terms. Here's a small, non-comprehensive list of the people I've had access to because I'm a member of the press:

-Lee Tae-Sik-Ambassador of Korea to the United States, who is starting a tour of the U.S. to promote a controversial U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. He does not know if or when Congress will vote on the proposal.

-Rajmah Hussain-Ambassador of Malaysia to the United States, whom I met at a Malaysian Gala last weekend. There I met Chef Zam, Malaysia's "Emeril" who has been featured on the U.S.' Food Network. I also got to know the youngest Malaysian ever to climb Everest, a 25-year-old who calls himself Qobain.

-Qiao Hong-Chinese consul general in Houston, Texas, who visited Atlanta shortly after assuming her position.

-TobyMac-Christian rocker who is a former member of the band DC Talk.

And the less-known subjects: An Atlantan opening a Jamaican restaurant in China, representatives from Japan and Nigeria's chambers of commerce in Atlanta, businesswomen from the Middle East, and others.

I'm grateful that God who, knowing my disdain for the mundane, saw fit to give me a job where each day is different and I get to continually feed my interest in international affairs. I've always wanted to have a global impact and in some small way, I feel like I'm doing that now.

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