Vanessa Pearson

Years in media: 12 years

Why I got into this business: I’ve been reading the comics section of a newspaper since I was 6 months old. (My mom has a photo of me with the Wichita Eagle while wearing a diaper and a baby top knot.) When I was in school, friends sought me out for advice because I knew a lot because I read and asked questions constantly. Somewhere along the line, I added editing papers for friends. My first college major was theater, but after a lot of disillusionment, I found out you could get paid to ask questions, take photos, edit words, fix mistakes AND not have to be awake before noon. I was sold. I still get to sleep until noon (or later), edit words, make pages look awesome and wind up with tangible proof of a day’s work when I leave after midnight. I don’t want to imagine doing anything else.

In one sentence, why is journalism important: Looking behind the curtain isn’t always comfortable, but everyone needs to know what’s hiding there.

What three words describe you: Quirky, creative, solitary

What issue fires you up: Ignorance (hence why I want to do my part to help the public be informed about what’s happening around them).

Who is a Tulsan you admire: I’m not supposed to say Susan Ellerbach because she’s my boss and it’s the brownnose thing to say, but it’s true. (I’m a Tulsa transplant, so most of the people I admire are in the newsroom. I’ve got a lot of options.) She’s a fantastic leader to follow and she makes tough decisions with grace and humor. I can only hope my career will be as long and half as impactful as hers.

What is your favorite local hangout: Hurt’s Donut late night

Favorite movie: “Speed”

Favorite book: This one is hard. The entire “Outlander” series by Diana Gabaldon is a constant favorite. But I do love Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Oh and the first six or seven books of the Sookie Stackhouse series (Charlaine Harris started being mean to my favorite side characters about then). And I’ll always hold a place in my heart for the AP Stylebook.

Favorite quote: “In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest where no one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.” ― Rumi