By Dylan Genrich
For me, the most interesting thing about CJ 222 so far has been hearing about how news stories are found, and the importance of journalists developing and maintaining relationships with their sources. I had always assumed that journalists spoke to people or interviewed sources once before diverging paths and never speaking to them again. I now know that this is not only untrue, but antithetical to the way that journalists operate. Thanks to the insight of the guest speakers so far, and the knowledge of the reporter I recently job shadowed, I’ve discovered that many stories are only told due to the strong connections that journalists have with their sources.
I now know that stories can be found anywhere. Anyone can potentially be newsworthy; you need only ask the right questions. Another aspect to pay close attention to as a journalist are agendas. Government, city and school district agendas are huge sources of news in the reporting world, and making connections with high ranking officials often leads to big news stories. I’ve learned that often, officials want to meet with the press, especially to answer some of the more complex questions that journalists will have to report on. If complex issues are going to be covered, officials want to do what they can to make sure they’re covered correctly, because a misinformed reporter, leads to a misinformed public.
One thing that I’m looking forward to learning more about this semester is the fragile boundary that reporters have to cross to get the answers they need. Knowing how to handle interviews where the topic is particularly tragic or where the interviewee might be portrayed in a bad light is something that concerns me. Asking hard-hitting questions without being insensitive is something that I look forward to learning in the future.