Monday, March 5, 2012

Romance in Journalism

HooHaa 52 -Television (Week 22)
I wonder what's romantic about Jon Stewart's job.

"HooHaa 52 -Television (Week 22) (Photo credit: Grizdave)"
I attended a journalism panel today with a couple of my colleagues from my TV Production class, and while some of the things the four panelists said were usual journalism lore - writing skills a must, worldliness and curiosity a requirement - but one thing stood out.

I asked a question regarding the relationships a journalist establishes with his sources. Not romantic relationships, simply the interactions one has to have with different people in order to interview them, to ask them questions and find out more about a story, etc.

I was delighted to find that the journalists on the panel saw things in essentially the same light as my question saw them. They too admitted to a certain level of romance in journalism. The same way you use words wisely and aesthetically when, let's say, flirting with a cute girl; you use your words and your presentation with sources in order to gain their trust and, objectively speaking, squeeze the most information you can out of them for your story.

The Flirtation
Essentially, these three country people might as well be journalists!

Image via Wikipedia
There's a sense of selfishness when you see it this way: you're just cajoling someone into giving you something you want. But, in a sense, isn't that kind of the way flirting and romantic ventures work, too? Sure, developed romances are mutually satisfactory unions that each constituent enjoys, but initial flirting or wooing is quite one-sided. When you approach a dainty female at a restaurant with the goal of taking her out to the movies the same night, you are subtly demanding something: her company, namely.

It's identical with sources. You demand information, but to attain it, you must present yourself as a respectful, honest, trustworthy person with nothing but the job in mind.

Quite romantic indeed, don't you think?
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