08 August 2014

The journalist's adage

"What's in it for us?"

It threw me to hear it put so bluntly.  Roberta warned us about the 'crystal head' effect of training to be a journalist: innocently assuming that everyone thinks like you. They don't. The guy on the other end of the phone was a businessman and I was asking for an interview. His first question of course was, What do we get out of this?

In fact, all journalism is like that. It's all about the audience. To quote Roberta again, 'No-one cares what you think'. Not until you become an expert in something. It make take us a few years to reach that point...

But this life lesson is not self-deprecatory. Rather, it is self-elevatory (Roberta said we can make up words too.) It lifts and liberates you from that pressure to sound like you know loads about your topic when you're talking to someone who actually does.

'What is 3D printing?' 'Sorry, what do you mean by venture capital investments?' 'How do you spell your name?'

Simple stuff, but I need to know this stuff. Life is about learning. It's pretty awesome to pursue a career which is all about that too.

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