I spent quite a while last night tirelessly emailing potential future interviewees. It’s quite a varied mix, so even if I managed to snare a couple of them for an interview, I could have some really interesting posts coming up. Currently I am working on a post where I have interviewed Simon Clark about sports car racing, which will hopefully turn out alright considering I know nothing about sports cars, and I had to give myself a bit of a crash course in them. I think in the long run that is a good thing though, as not all of the stories one receives as a journalist will necessarily tie in with one’s prior knowledge, so I think it is good to get into the habit of researching unfamiliar topics.
I am around halfway through the Essential Reporting textbook, and it’s proved very interesting and I should like to think, very useful. It’s drawn my attention to lots of bad habits journalists fall into that I probably would’ve had myself had I not read this book. I’m not even sure that I need to read it prior to the course, but it can’t be a bad thing to familiarise myself with what is expected of me, surely? I have also started to revise some of the things I’ve done so far in the shorthand book. Doing the first few exercises has been a breeze, so if nothing else at least I have the absolute basics down? The thing I worry about is still the speed. How on earth will I be able to reach 100 words per minute? Although I can now read Teeline pretty well, my own execution of it is stilted at best, and takes a lot of thought and checking back to ensure it’s accurate. I can often get it ALMOST right, but it’s not really good enough when you need to write quickly and accurately. The special outlines, in particular, keep throwing me, and also some of the little rules, like adding the indicator I symbol for ‘ing’ and the letters that sometimes mean whole chunks of a word, like just a ‘y’ symbol for ‘ly’ and the R-exception.
I really hope some of the people I got in touch with last night will accept my plea for an interview. I spent a long time thinking how best to persuade them to get on board. I’m not sure why they WOULD agree to an interview with ‘just another 20 year old who thinks they can change the world one blog entry at a time’ but if I don’t try…
Probably expect to see the next interview post, with Simon, tomorrow, if I can get it finished in time.