Meet Danae King, Columbus Dispatch Faith, Values, Immigration Reporter
Danae King is a faith, values and immigration reporter at The Dispatch.
Danae King: Why I became a journalist
From a very young age, I have loved good stories. I read everything that came to hand. Eventually, my love of reading morphed into a love of writing and, coupled with my natural curiosity, a desire to be the person telling the stories, not just reading them.
As I began to find every opportunity to write, I began to realize that my love for journalism went beyond telling stories and was more about making the truth be told. Journalism to me is about making sure someone is watching those in power, making people aware of the injustices against those who don’t have it, and having the chance to educate people about things that they might never have heard or known otherwise.
I started in high school, like many journalists I know, in my student newspaper. But, when that didn’t satisfy my desire to tell stories, I started freelancing for two small newspapers in my hometown.
I never stopped writing and reporting in college, where I was heavily involved in the student newspaper. The more stories I had to tell, the more people I knew and interviewed, the more I wanted to continue being a journalist.
What I like most about my job
I love so many aspects of my job: constantly meeting new people, telling stories people might not hear otherwise, and giving voice to the voiceless. But what I love most about being a journalist is the public service aspect. When journalists take on a story, they are able to hold people to account, uncover injustices and bring about change.
The best part of being a journalist is the ability to help people.
A story I worked on that had a lasting impact on me
So many stories I’ve written have impacted me and my views on certain topics. However, the one that makes me most grateful to be a journalist and exemplifies what I love most about it – its impact and the change it can cause – is the coverage I did on sexual abuse. of priests on miners in Columbus.
In March 2019, when the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus released a list of priests who had been accused of child abuse and served in the diocese, I dug.
Danae’s work:Why aren’t Ohio officials investigating Catholic sex abuse cases?
Throughout the spring and summer, I reported on how the diocese deals with the sexual abuse of priests and built a database to show people the information the diocese was not sharing: where accused priests had worked in the area.
The stories culminated in a project called “Catholic Secret.”
But, more than that, the stories caused change.
Before I started reporting on how the diocese works with survivors of abuse and those accused of abuse, survivors had to report their abuse to a priest – which survivor groups and experts said would deter people to report and could be traumatic again.
After my report, the diocese hired a counselor and a laywoman, not in the uniform of many survivor abusers, and she is now the one taking reports of abuse.
Although this is a difficult subject to talk about, what kept me going was the fact that I knew it had to be even harder for victims of abuse to tell their stories so that others could be spared what they have been through.
In May 2021, a survivor of the sexual abuse of a priest contacted me to tell his story. He works hard to change Ohio laws that prevent him and others from seeking justice against their abusers and the church.
What is the biggest challenge I face?
The biggest challenge I face is that there are so many great stories to tell in central Ohio that sometimes it can be hard to find the time to tell them all. But I will never stop trying!
What I like to do when I’m not working
I love reading, spending time with my Goldendoodle Ace puppy, and COVID permitting, spending time with my friends and attending the many fun events Central Ohio has to offer in non-pandemic times.
Favorite Central Ohio Event or Tradition:
The longer I live in Columbus, the more I love it. So, it’s hard to pin down, but I think my favorite part of life here is going to see the Blue Jackets and the Clippers play. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not very interested in sports, but I love the atmosphere and fun of games in Columbus. I also always have a craving for cotton candy. Hot dogs don’t hurt either.
Why Journalism Matters
There are so many reasons. Chief among them, however, is its unique ability to shed light on important topics that people might not otherwise know about. For example, I recently wrote on refugees who are forced to leave their homes during the pandemic and winter. Once readers discovered it, many offered their help and support. I think it illustrates the incredible power of journalism to bring people together.
I also believe that journalism, and storytelling in particular, can bring people together, create compassion, and connect people with those they think are too different to identify with.
Share your story:The Storytellers Project is coming to Columbus
This is why I recently joined the Storytellers Project and I’m part of a team of reporters and editors hosting four live storytelling shows in Columbus this year. The themed shows each feature five community storytellers telling a personal story meant to inspire community connection.
On March 9, June 8, September 14, and November 16, community members can attend shows at the Columbus Athenaeum, view the local show schedule, and purchase a ticket. here, or apply to tell a story here.
You can support the work of Danae King and other local journalists by subscribing to The Dispatch. Learn more about our staff:
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