This unit has raised a lot of questions and has answered many as well. Before this unit, I had never interviewed anyone now I have. I learned a lot about listening and feeding of your interview subjects. I found that really it comes down to a few fundamentals. Good research, good listening and good people skills. The trick is to make a person who you have never met before feel like they have known you for ages and open up to you. I also realised you’re a facilitator of the stories being told not a participant, so listening interacting rather than telling is paramount.
There are two major other elements of my reading that stand out is the implementation of technology related to Mojo journalism and its ethical implications.
The technology has major benefits, anyone can be at the scene of a happening news story. There can be events in countries where freedoms are limited that can be covered and dispatched via online methods. It has opened up the world, secrets are much harder to keep secret. This is all down to the invention of the smartphone and then the citizen journalist, it isn’t all good though.
Because of the technological innovations, it is also now easier to submit news and with ease comes abuses of that new found power. I read about a situation at a football club where the PR person for the club said absolutely no interviews for the football player in question. After the press conference had finished, the said journalist walked with the said player and just started chatting. Little did the player know he was speaking on the record and being filmed at the same time by an inconspicuous phone. The technology has also enabled people to shoot incredibly violent macabre events and post them unfettered online. The question arose for me so how do we find the middle ground, where all the benefits of this movement in news can be encompassed yet areas such as taste, ethics and decency can be practised. It’s a hard question to answer as all news agencies now are so competitive. The pressures on journalists high and budgets are plummeting. The temptation is to throw your ethics out the window to get the most dramatic story possible, to trump your competitors. I know this for a fact having been a news editor myself. I look at it this way to use an analogy. Before politicians go into parliament they have principles and ethics, but when they join they enter parliament they have to throw their beliefs out for the party. That is the state of Journalism as I see it and from what I picked up completing my blogs.