The other day I had the first formal interview on behalf of my school’s bimonthly newspaper in several weeks. I’ll admit I arrived feeling the nervousness of a new reporter because I was terrified I was out of practice. Will I come off as annoying? Or nosy? What if my scribbling distracts her? What if I run out of questions? What if I stumble over my words?
Overall, it went beautifully.
At first I ran into several walls because the interviewee was so guarded. Furthermore I realized early on that many of my questions were two-dimensional. There was a point at which I physically set aside my list of questions and decided to continue on instinct.
All I had to do was get to know this person as an individual rather than build off of what she was known for. We began to talk less about her work and more about ideas that shaped her way of thinking and living. I was genuinely surprised to see just how much we had in common.
I walked away smiling absurdly because I was reminded of why I fell in love with journalism in the first place. I can’t think of what more I could ask for than a job in which I am responsible for talking with and listening to people and writing their stories down. Luckily enough, that already is my job.
Sometimes I feel like a people person, sometimes I’m just in a mood to observe. Journalism lets me do both.