Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm a Reporter

There are moments, usually in the middle of the night, when I remember I'm a reporter.

Because we, as reporters, do strange things.

A couple weeks ago a storm woke me up. My first thought when I was standing in the kitchen was, "How is this impacting my readers? Do I need to write about it?" Those were followed shortly by thoughts ensuring the animals all had proper coverage and that nothing was left out getting soaked that shouldn't be.

When I'm driving a back road and see a sign for an equine swim facility, I think, "That'd make a great story!" So I make it happen.

I drive home at least three nights a week pushed past the point of exhaustion.

I do take naps on my desk. And then wake up 25 minutes later unable to see. When I texted my opthalmologist friend, he said the fronts of my eyes were probably swollen from resting my head on my forearm for that long. Who knew?!

People tell me the strangest things. Things that are so off-base from the topic I'm interviewing them about that inside I'm shaking my head in wonder.

I was with a rancher today riding around on his place talking about the dangers of his former job as a narcotics detective. He then told me it was really no more dangerous then mine because really, I had no idea who I would be interviewing and that at any time I could be "raped, shot, or robbed." I had never thought of my job like that before.

I read TIME magazine and post an excellent quote as my Facebook status. And then read it to my little brother and sister on our way to school the next morning and get their feedback.

Officials in public meetings whisper when they know I'm watching and I think that's funny.

Information comes flying at me so fast, especially in meetings, that I have a built-in Information Sorter in my head. Some things I'm not even listening to. And while I'm not listening, I'm starting to write the story on my Blackberry. They think I'm texting; it's actually news-writing in action.

I fail at leaving lengthy interviews early. I will stay and let them talk as long as they want to and then race back to the office to make up for lost time.

I keep multiple to-do lists around my desk, purse, and Blackberry. There's always something to do. Like blog.

I let a piece of everyone's story affect me just a little.

1 comment:

Amy Bushatz said...

ditto to everything you just said. keep it up!
And one time I went into a "bad part" of D.C. to do a quick write-up on a drive by shooting. My editor made it very clear that I was not permitted to go alone and that I could get shot. I got there and felt like, yup, he was right. I like to keep that in mind now.
Also, the whispering thing? Totally cracks me up. Another favorite moment: when someone Ive met recently in a non-reporter setting finds out that I am a reporter. The look in his eyes as he processes that fact and tries to remember what in his monologues over the last few encounters could be damaging later. I say, hey yo, reporters are people too. I don't just feed on human flesh, ok.