Dear Journalism: You Are Not For Me

Jenni Gritters
7 min readMay 7, 2021

When I got news of the bomb, I was at mile 23, walking towards the finish line. I was in my first year of journalism school at Boston University and we’d been assigned to cover one of the city’s largest sporting events: the Boston Marathon. A friend who was working closer to the finish line heard the explosions and called to make sure I wasn’t there.

“A bomb,” she shouted. “There was a bomb.”

Shocked, I hung up. Then my phone buzzed again: Another journalist friend, this one covering the Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

“Did you hear?” he yelled. I could sense the excitement in his voice. Then he told me that he was going to run toward the bomb, to try to get some pictures. I hung up the phone again.

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I wish I could tell you what it was like to throw away my red cup full of lukewarm mimosa and start running toward the finish line. I wish I could tell you about how I interviewed people at the scene, how I took pictures of the blown out windows in businesses on the streets I’d walked a thousand times before. But that’s not what this essay is about.

Because I didn’t walk toward the bomb. I didn’t pull out my notebook or my phone or my recorder. Instead, I walked away. And eight years later, I’m doing the same…



Jenni Gritters

I’m a writer and business coach for freelance creatives based in Central Oregon. I write about the psychology of small business ownership.