WJI Blog Day 11 PM: Interviewing as an opportunity to love others

May 24, 2017

By Morgan Channels

Hillsdale College 

The first ring is always the hardest part of an interview. The recently dialed numbers blink on the screen as I stare at the phone on the table in front of me. It doesn’t matter that the questions are prepared, written on the notebook next to the phone. It rings a second time. I sit, heart beating.

 Speaking on the phone and asking strangers questions always petrified me. A conversation is unpredictable. The other person can say anything. What if I don’t know what to say?

The only way to overcome this fear, my mother would tell nine-year-old-me, would be to keep talking to people. With much resentment and many fumbled sentences, I ordered pizza, called movie theaters, and called the neighbors to see if we could drop off their Christmas presents.

I am twenty, and I still hesitate before making a call. It doesn’t matter if I am calling a public library or the owner of a national business. I dread the empty space between each ring of the telephone.

But the line clicks and all of the sudden, a voice answers. I realize that I am just talking to another person. What happens next is more than a string of questions and answers. Instead, two people who may have never encountered one another share a few moments of conversation.

It may be counter-intuitive to say that journalism is loving people. People, regardless of wealth or social standing, are still people. At the core, people have the same needs and wants. Everyone has insecurities.  When two people talk and find common interests because a story brought them together, I think that, yes, journalism is an opportunity to love others. A natural curiosity for the world and an interest in others should never be smothered by a fear of rejection or by a timid spirit.

That’s how I felt after hanging up the phone after my last interview this afternoon. Today, I met a man who hopes his work in designing memorials helps other who are hurting. He told me his dream is to share his art with people who need it. During the interview, he asked me questions about myself. Thirty minutes of interview later, I had completely forgotten the nerves I felt before the call. I was smiling when I hung up.  


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World Journalism Institute