Today I gained more insights into newspaper interviews, over the phone and face-to-face.
In the morning I did two phone interviews.
The first call went well but the line was crackly with the second call. Fortunately, I was able to email the remaining questions to the person and she replied almost immediately.
I wrote up the two stories and sent them to the reporters.
Then I spent time with Amelia who showed me how the What’s On events I compiled on Monday get entered into the newspaper on the computer. It was a fairly straight-forward process at that point and she was very grateful she was spared all that time compiling the lists.
After lunch I went with Amelia to the National Police Remembrance Day service at Petrie. They paid tribute to all the police who had died in the line of duty. Commissioner Ian Stewart was there along with police officers and family and friends of police officers who had died since 1861. But today they paid special tribute to a treasured officer who died off-duty in 2001 on a family holiday. Senior Constable Chris Treversh had been training to be a detective and was loved by one and all in the community and by his family. He was respected, trusted, dedicated and persistent. He never got to receive his Detective status as he died not long after he had completed his training. So today they awarded him the title of Detective. His then-Wife, their two children and her current Husband were all there for the service. The police officer’s parents were also there to see their son’s efforts acknowledged. At the end of the service Amelia went over to the family and introduced herself. It was very useful to see how she approached them and her manner and conversation style. She was very relaxed, friendly and kind. She established a rapport with them, then asked them questions about the award and what it means to them that he is being honoured after all this time. It meant the world to all of them and they were all delighted with the recognition. It was a very natural interview and she was able to put them all at ease and they felt comfortable talking to her at what must have been a bitter-sweet moment in time for them all.
Afterwards, Amelia and I headed back to the newsroom. I finished up on a couple more stories before heading home at 4:30.
Overall, today was a very productive day as I got to do everything and see another journalist out on the road. I think the essence of good journalism is being able to quickly establish rapport with people so they feel comfortable and happy talking to you. I saw that innate ability again today with Amelia.
Meanwhile, I am starting to feel more confident and comfortable with my telephone interviews so I’m grateful that I had so many opportunities this week to fine-tune and practice that skill. It takes a lot of confidence, self-belief and inter-personal skills to make it as a Journalist. One thing I do know from what I’ve seen this week, despite the long hours and stress, it seems to be very rewarding and exciting running local newspapers.