My partner is obsessed with Youtube.
His incessant watching usually drives me around the twist, however one day he surprised me. He was watching a scene from a documentary. “You study journalism,” gold star for remembering, “watch this”. It was an interview between self proclaimed Nazi, April Gaede, and a journalist who would forever change the way I see journalism.
Louis Theroux. A British-American film maker and journalist who is best described as ‘fearless’. The scene my partner wanted me to watch was from his documentary ‘Louis and the Nazi’s‘ and was unlike any interview I had ever seen. It opened with April laughing while making a swastika out of tape with her young daughters Lynx and Lamb.
Louis takes a very psychological approach to journalism and asks not why April is doing what she is doing, but how she thinks it makes other people feel. I immediately begged my partner to watch the whole documentary with me so I could see more of this entirely different approach.
After watching the whole documentary I was hooked on Louis’s journalistic style. He was awkward and played the role of outsider. He asked hard questions and was met with resistance and anger, but he never backed down. He didn’t just interview people, he lived their lives and followed them trying to understand why they thought the way they did.
In today’s world to be a journalist you have to be different, you have to get the angle that no one else is. You have to dig deep to find the story that no one is talking about. To be a good journalist you can’t just ask questions, you have to understand people, you have to listen to them even if you think what they are doing is completely wrong.
Louis Theroux has taught me that to get the story that will make you stand out, YOU have to stand out. Being a journalist is more than asking questions that will get you the best quote or the biggest story, it’s about finding the story that will open people’s eyes to the world around them.
So thank you Louis Theroux, for opening my eyes to a different journalist than the ones I am used to and thank you to my partner for being so completely obsessed with Youtube.
(The video below is ‘Louis Theroux and The Nazi’s‘ – opening scene mentioned in text)