These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

reporter behavior

i was at a meeting earlier this week covering a story. i found myself in a roomful of people, which ws unexpected. i arrived late and, like church empty church pews, found a few seats available upfront near the board members.

one part of the meeting became heated and between seven and 10 people decided to speak out about an issue involving a former employee.

when a decision was reached, a majority of the people left because they were there for one issue. i immediately walked to the back to try to get somereaction, maybe try and find the man they the board was discussing.

up until that part of the meeting i had seen no other reporter. but i did see a photographer, so i figured a reporter was hidden among the people.

as i stepped to the back of the audience area, i saw the reporter. it was anunexpected one, since this one usually doesn't cover this particular meeting.

we both found the man we were looking for and we walked off to the side to talk to him quietly, since a large crowd had gathered.

i knew this reporter from other meetings and events and she's, well, not so nice. she tries to intimidate and usualyl puts down the newspaper.

but what she has about her is a way of schmoozing with people she's interviewing. it's like she's talking to a friend or something. she puts on the sympathetic face and her voice drops a little.she starts talking to people around her during any situation like she's taking a side.

you can feel sympathy toward someone, empathy, even. if it's sad, you can really let them know how bad you feel, like when i do an obit story or if i'm at a crash or fire scene and someone's house is burning down. but i remove myself from the person or situation. i let them know i care because as a reporter i do care about them and the situation. i just can't be biased towards what's going on.

i feel this reporter is biased at times. it's a shame.

maybe reporters allhave their own methods of getting what they want. i'm sure some are hard-asses and others use their wares to get what they want from people.

i just don't think you should do anymore than being nice to people when you're interviewing them. full of shit? maybe. either way, i just like to notice other reporters when we're ina group.

i guess it takes all kinds to make the world go round.

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