Monday, November 12, 2007

The Reports...

There are so many show-offs in journalism, so many braggarts and jerks. There are always selling, always working the room, always trying to make themselves look hotter than they actually are. The good news is reporters like that make it easy to distinguish yourself. If you even a little bit humble, a little self-effacing or solicitous, you stand out. So you bring a co-worker lunch if he’s buried under a deadline, you remember birthdays, it’s true, journalism is a hard work, everybody’s under pressure, everybody’s grinding to get the issue out. Nobody’s getting any sleep, but you are allowed to smile every once in a while. I mean, even Woodward and Bernstein went out for a burger now and then, and they won a Pulitzer. Some reporters think it’s a political content that makes a story memorable. I think it’s the people you find, their quirks, their flaws, what makes them funny, what makes them human. Journalism is just the art of capturing behavior. You have to know who you’re writing for. And you have to know what you’re good at. I record what people do, I find out what moves them, what scares them, and I write that down. That way, they are the ones telling the story. And you know what? Those kinds of pieces can win Pulitzers too.

2003 – Shattered Glass

No comments:

Post a Comment