Guest speaker, Aubrey Whelan from the Philadelphia Inquirer, spoke to us about her experiences of covering addiction and what she has learned. Whelan discussed her experiences with interviewing with people. She made a really important point about being upfront with our intentions. I think it’s important that we remain honest with our sources and the people we talk to- we want to tell their story correctly. She mentioned that establishing that trust makes it easier for people to open up to you.
She also made a really good point on where to cover: “we do a disservice to our readers if we pretend the opioid crisis is only in Kensington”. Like we talked about in the first week of this class, this crisis is everywhere in Philly, and not just in this one area. Another point that she made that really stuck with me was that having a specific idea and questions in mind will help guide the interviewing process and lead to better information.
It was really helpful to listen and talk with Whelan. She stands by the idea that journalism should just be more than coverage of negative things, it should be productive and shows the whole picture. She also gave me a perspective on what I’ll actually be doing while going out and reporting, which was interesting. From a solutions journalism standpoint, she made it clear to communicate with the people we interview, because we do genuinely care for them. We need to be clear about our intentions and always make sure that they’re comfortable with being a source and being in photographs.