Letters Home: Ben Bradley

Ben Bradley graduated from
the Missouri School
of Journalism in 1997 with
a degree in broadcast
The following letter was submitted May 10, 2012

Dear Old J-School Self,

Oh, how I miss you. Let me count the ways:

  1. The innocence with which I believed almost everything told to me by those in positions of power such as “activists,” mayors, and governors (I’m from Illinois after all).

  2. The freedom afforded by free time to stop and dream of the journalist I want to be.

  3. The camaraderie of KOMU: Post show drinks at Flat Branch where we celebrated victories and laughed about our screw ups. 
Here’s what I don’t miss, because these are qualities that still reflect the journalist I am today:

1) The compassion for the people I cover… especially those enduring loss, heartbreak and difficult times.

2) The adrenaline of being first with the story.

3) The love of learning something new.

4) The curiosity that leads me to ask one more question.

5) The morals, values and self-respect to balance a good scoop with being a good person.

I could have never predicted the career path that led me back to my hometown of Chicago. I’m here because of a combination of luck, luck, and more luck… with a dash of skill. Jobs will come and go: Things like credibility, compassion and how you treat your colleagues matter more than market size. Those are things that are easy to forget under the pressure of deadlines and downsizing… but they’ll help you get through them.

Ben Bradley
BJ ’97 Broadcast
Reporter, Sunday-morning anchor at ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV)

PS – Hey Old J-School Self, one more thing: You’re not as cool as you think you are… but your profession is!


Check out the rest of the Letters Home series

Editor's note: If you're a Mizzou journalism alum who would like to contribute to the Letters Home series, send us an email at onamizzou@gmail.com with your letter, your name, your sequence and graduation year, your current job and contact information.

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