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Should a Journalist Have Guts? February 27, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Drowmage's Philosophy, Drowmage's rants.

I found myself asking this question a few minutes ago, after reading the most classic lines from a new writer at work who wrote an email to a local filmmaker, asking some questions for an article. (I’m not going to repeat them here, but I’ve got the say I love the filmmaker’s retorts.) It made me recall a few press conferences which I’ve attended last year that made me cringe several times over.

The same thing happens everytime: We all sit, emcee does the introductions, the filmmaker/producer/guest-of-honour/actor talks. Then the floor is opened to the good journalists sitting there, who originally went to watch the free movie and pick up some freebies. An uncomfortable silence occurs. A few minutes pass. Then I give up and ask a question, or someone from The Star asks a question first. Then maybe another 5 or 6 questions (if we’re lucky) gets thrown out, then everyone disperses for the free food or goes off.

The best part is, there are normally 10 -20 other journalists in the fracking room. So why are less than 5 actually doing the work? Someone once told me that it’s because of two things; one is that they want to have an exclusive with that particular person only, so they corner said person after the event. Second, is that they don’t dare to ask questions (shy).

Why are you a journalist if the word shy even exists in your vocabulary?

Tomorrow I get to babysit the noob and ask questions for an event that I’m not even writing about. Not even getting paid, darn it. Apparently the noob may be quite possibly too scared or shy to ask questions (from the apparent rumours at the office).

No more nice Drowmage, time for me to push back. Time to make these shy journalists swallow that word.



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