Remain Calm and Keep Control

Last week at my internship, I was given the opportunity to go out with a photographer and film a story. This was the first time that I would be the one asking questions and telling the photographer what I thought I needed, so naturally I was terrified. I spent hours researching the topic so I would know just what to ask. I even asked other experienced reporters for their words of wisdom. I was as prepared as I could be and ready to roll with the punches, until I got smacked right in face. Not literally of course.Image

It all boiled down to one control freak that was working at the place I was doing my story on. He took it upon himself to piece together interviews with people he thought would be great. Asking them to come in and make time in their day so I could interview them. While I know he was only trying to help, it made my job a lot harder. Not only did it take up a lot of time, it also made it nearly impossible to get footage I needed.  The interviews were things I couldn’t use and irrelevant because I had no b-roll of them inaction.

Through this experience I came up with three tips for interviewing, especially for a news station.

Be Forward: When setting up and interview let them know exactly what you need. People who aren’t in the industry might have a idea of how things “should” go, but only you know what you really need.

Have a Plan: Don’t be afraid to make a plan, its good to prepare yourself. Just take into account that things might change. You always have to be able to roll with the punches and keep an eye out for any story that might come up.

Be Polite: It never hurts to explain to people why you are doing something the way you are. Sometimes you have to put your foot down to get what you need and as long as you’re nice about it most people will understand.

Alexandria Naboulsi 

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5 Responses to Remain Calm and Keep Control

  1. hailayn says:

    This is great advice, even for those who aren’t pursuing a career within a news station. I think a lot of times, people can be overly helpful, and it sounds like that’s what happened with you. They think they’re extending a helping hand, when really, they may be making your job harder. It’s easy for us, as recent graduates, to try to accommodate everyone. Instead, we should take their advice into consideration, but also use it in collaboration with our experience. Thanks for the advice!

  2. nwfilmcenter says:

    Great post! It’s assertive and proactive! It helps to have insight and tips from an internship that is different from our own. Also, your tips can definitely help us out in our internships. Thanks!

  3. eilíseward says:

    I can totally relate to this incident! Numerous times out on assignment people will try and set up what they think will look good in front of the camera, or what they want to “promote” through my photos. It can be so tough to tell them that I need something different or that what they want just isn’t going to work, and sometimes they don’t understand or feel insulted. Hopefully we can both just learn from these incidents and become more assertive in what we need! Great post.

  4. I like your advice about making a plan while being ready to change it if need be. I think all new journalists have trouble switching topics or routes of action mid-interview or mid-story. Sometimes being overly prepared for one situation can make us forget to expect the unexpected. Thanks for the advice!

  5. katshannon says:

    Great post! That’s really interesting and definitely in a situation like that thorough communication is key! Sounds like you had a great learning experience though and really put in the necessary effort to get things done. Even though this might not have worked out as planned, it seems like you know what you need to do and say next time to change the outcome. Thanks for sharing!

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