A former reporter for the Onion who quit to pursue a journalism career in a different industry says the job he did as a reporter was “one of the most important things I’ve ever done.”
Mark Bessette, who covered news in the U.K. and Australia, is now a freelance writer at The Onion.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Bessettes first-person accounts of his career in news journalism highlight how his career as a journalist was so important to him that he felt compelled to share it.
“I’m still in love with the job,” Besset told AP.
“The journalism that I did was one of the greatest jobs I’ve had.
And to me, it was just an enormous privilege to be able to be part of that.
I mean, that’s what journalism is about, is sharing stories, telling stories.”
I’m not just an entertainer.
I’m a journalist, and the reason I’m still a journalist is because journalism is something I feel deeply about.
I think the whole job of a journalist has been to create a story, and that’s where it started and where I got to learn how to do it, Bessa said.
“And I’m incredibly proud of it.”
The AP interviewed Bessets wife, Sara, and his mother, Mary.
The AP also spoke with Bessetts brother, Brian, and other friends who were present at the interview.
“He’s been my dad, he’s my brother, he always has been,” Bessa’s brother, David, said of Bessett’s parents.
“He’s a very quiet, sweet guy, and he’s a good dad.
He’s very smart.”
Bessette’s career in the news business started in 2009, when he joined the Onion’s newsroom as a senior reporter.
Besseter says the newsroom was his favorite job because it was so flexible.
“You have an amazing set of skills,” he said.
“The Onion was a small team and we could go and do anything we wanted, but you have to do your homework.
And I think that was the first time in my life where I had to think and really put in the time and really work really hard, and I think the work ethic and the commitment and the determination and the focus and the work and the energy and the drive that I brought to the job really made it worthwhile.”
He said his time at the news office was “the best part of my career.”
“It was the time I spent with my family, the time that I got up in the morning and went to work, and then when I got home I went back and spent the day with my wife and kids, so it was definitely the best time of my life,” Besson said.
The Onion’s story that started the career began with an article about a woman who had died of a mysterious illness.
“We had an article that was written about a very sick woman, and we had an editor, who was kind of a doctor, and she decided that the best way to deal with it was to put an article out that was going to put a lot of pressure on this woman, so she was going have to come down to the hospital,” Bessen said.
The Onion, of course, ran the story, along with a story from a woman named Jane Doe who was in the hospital and had her symptoms examined.
“So, I went in there and got her checked out,” Besse told the AP.
The article then described how Jane Doe had died and her symptoms were found to be a mix of viral and bacterial infections.
The newsroom also ran an article titled “The Mysterious Woman,” where Jane Doe’s symptoms were revealed to be from an unknown bacterial infection.
Bessett says he and other reporters were given the assignment to cover Jane Doe in the article.
“There was a lot going on at that point, and they were like, ‘We’re going to take you down to this hospital, and you’re going have a whole day with your family,'” Besson recalled.
“And I was like, I don’t want to do that, because that would be too weird,” he told AP, “because it would mean you had to go to a hospital, which is not something I want to go into.”
So Bessete went to the “doctor” in the office and explained what he wanted to do.
“She was like: ‘Well, I just think this is weird.
I just don’t understand why you’re doing it.
And then I said, ‘Well if you’re sick, and if you have a lot on your plate, you know, you could probably do this,'” Bessetter said.
Besson went to a nearby hospital where a doctor examined Jane Doe.
“I didn’t see any of the symptoms,” Bessesetter said, “and then I went home and said, `Okay