Thursday, August 9, 2012

On the field

By Renan Meira (Queens, NY)

Today was my first time going in the field and interviewing people. I found myself in many interesting situations that I had never been exposed to, but there were two things that particularly caught my attention:
1. Whenever we approached people to ask questions, they would see how confident we were, and if we seemed insecure or demonstrated any signs of fear, they would respond in a rather defensive way. This taught me that the relationship between a journalist and a subject is much more reciprocal than I previously thought, and reminded me that we need to collaborate with out interviewees to put them at ease.
2. I was very surprised by how many people were unwilling to contribute to surveys, even to those that could be potentially beneficial. For example, when I approached today two women who were walking by and asked them about the relocation of the hospital in their area, I was rebuffed coldly. They only stopped when we made it clear that we didn’t work for any religious or marketing group, and we were simply student journalists conducting a research.
Overall I was able to get a real picture of what it is like to be a reporter, and the challenges that come along with the job. But we, as journalists, should always use our idealism to trigger changes in society, despite of all the difficulties.

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