Former Journalist Interviewing Journalists

Thursday, 25 October 2012
Data collection for my study on journalist preparation and training is going even better than expected. I cannot believe how lucky I am to talk with some big name folks who are experienced, wise and super friendly. Isn't it funny how we think "famous" people aren't approachable when really, they have to have some people skills to become so successful. A sharp professional is usually well-liked by their peers.

Since I'm a highly private person (yeah, right), I just hate sharing my business (collective laugh here) but I REALLLY wish I could blog about what I'm learning from the journalists that are interviewing with me. Eventually their experiences will be recorded in a (hopefully published) academic report but I won't be using their names. Bummer. I'd like for you to support their work as I do.

My absolute love of the long-interview method is contrasted with a hate for transcription. It takes hours and hours and hours of listening to recordings and typing out words and nuances to get the data down. This is a super busy time for me but at least I can look out the window at bright, beautiful trees in fall colors here in lovely East Tennessee while I work. Our local meteorologist Matt Hinkin says the leaves will only last for another week so please enjoy!

New York, New York

Friday, 19 October 2012
Me? I've been pretty happy this week. Sadly though, I haven't had a chance to blog about things because I've been super busy with research, classes and teaching class. I also have to take care of things around the house. Please forgive me for my laziness in posting.

New York City was beyond fabulous. I was able to conduct the journalist combat training research I was hoping to capture (wish I could blog about it but that's against research ethics) and will be following up with experienced, award-winning, powerful journalists in the next few weeks. Their insight is invaluable to my studies.

After the training I met up with James in Midtown. We had so much fun going to the Met, walking through Central Park and touring the Morgan Library. I can't wait to return to the Morgan Library and secure an appointment in the reading room. There are hundreds of original texts and books on topics important to the academic types. I don't know if there are volumes that will be useful to my paradigmatic perspective but I hope so!

Three floors of books in the Morgan Library. The tapestry is from the 1600s. 

I have always had a culturally inspired dream to walk through Central Park in New York City holding hands with someone special. Movies, television shows and commercials promote this idea of romanticism but alas - it works. This weekend I scored! James and I walked from the Met through Central Park to 59th and occasionally held hands (don't tell him I mentioned it). The sun was shining. The crazy people of the city were running up in the park with their dogs and tourists were paying too much money to sit with family members in a carriage being pulled by horses. People were happy!

We spent time in Grand Central Station and shopped at Levi's and an upscale endeavor by J. Crew called the Liquor Store, J.Crew. It was super cool but hey(!) no women's clothing...

I haven't even begun to discuss the fabulous food we ran into in the city (I researched restaurants for weeks) but that will come later. Hoping you have a wonderful weekend! Much love to you and yours.

Start Spreading the News....

Tuesday, 9 October 2012
I haven't been to NYC in quite some time and I'm excited to head that way this week. After many emails to organizers and supervisors of a journalist combat training program, I was accepted as a researcher to observe the training and talk with trainers and journalists. This new program hasn't been the subject of research before and I'm interested in studying journalists' experiences.

I've been working with the brilliant Dr. Michelle Violanti, Dr. Gregory Button and Dr. Eric Haley (some of my professors at UTK, all of them are brilliant) in order to prepare for this assignment and correctly conduct observation. The findings will be used for a class project and lead to a larger project (dissertation). I'm actually pretty nervous which I know you'll think is silly but I've never done this kind of thing before! Wish me luck - and of course I'll post on my experiences, although I can't share details of the training or participants.

To sweeten the deal, James is meeting me there for the weekend (after the three day training is complete) and we already have reservations for brunch at Balthazar, dinner at The National and at Megu. NYC cuisine is so exciting!

Sing it if you know it...

Keep Moving

Saturday, 6 October 2012

This week I had one of those days.

When I got home I flipped the lights on in the kitchen. I flinched briefly as an overhead bulb sparked and faded out. My only thought at the time was: No worries. I have replacements. A little while later, sort of in the dark, I turned on the stove to sweat onions for Texas chili. I had thrown half of the hamburger into the pot. Three minutes later, after realizing nada was happening on the stove, I ventured over for a look. No heat. I tested the oven. Nothing. Woe. Woe is me!

While sitting in my living room later, getting ready to watch the presidential debate, I stopped feeling sorry for myself. Not sure of the trigger...but I flashed back for a moment to when I lived in London in Putney and would take the National Rail to get to Waterloo during the week.

If you commute to a job or class around the same time every day, you naturally see the same people on the train. Because you live in London you never actually acknowledge or speak to anyone but there's a comfort in seeing familiar faces day after day.

During the 8am hustle and bustle of the commute I noticed one person that always seemed to be there. This man had long, light hair that was curly but lacked the styling products that some might use. He was balding on top but didn’t seem to be very old. He was as thin as a rail and his glasses hung on the tip of his nose. He wore tidy, long shorts and a polo shirt with a sweatshirt depending on the weather and was always alone. The dude was noticeable because he moved excruciatingly slowly. He progressed to the train platform moving inch by inch on crutches that were made for people who could barely move their legs.

I noticed him day after day moving down the sidewalk to the train platform. He was probably mid-30s and could have flung himself to the tracks with a “forget it” attitude. Seeing his state and all of the rude commuters rudely pushing past him, I don’t know how he didn’t. 

Point is, even when it was raining, the guy was there. In my opinion, he was courageous. He had a goal to get from A to B. Perhaps he was going to his job or doctor appointments. I hated when it was raining during my commute but at least I had a hand free to hold an umbrella. This guy didn't but he was there making the journey. I wish I knew his name. He taught me and perhaps others that the way to deal with unwanted circumstances is to just keep moving - no matter the speed.