“It’s not an easy beat to cover, but it’s rewarding.” Aubrey Whelan, from the Philadelphia Inquirer, has been covering a beat on the opioid crisis for about a year now. She mainly covers stories from Kensington, Philadelphia but she says that the opioid crisis is everywhere. Learning about how Aubrey approaches and interviews people recovering from substance use and those who are still using was very helpful. “Start a conversation with policies and issues then go in with a specific approach,” Aubrey said. She brought up some good points where it’s better to ask very exact questions about certain topics that are affecting the area rather than to go into an interview without a plan. She said she received much better responses and feedback that way since they were topics people wanted to give their opinion on.
Aubrey also emphasized how important it is to be as transparent as possible when asking to interview someone. How she introduces herself and then almost immediately explains as to what she’s there for, not trying to hide anything. Aubrey wants people to start looking at the bigger picture. One main thing that she has tried to implement into her writings is solutions and how we can react as a community and resolve. I thought that Aubrey was a fantastic guest speaker. She was relatable, listening to her opinions and ways on how she is covering this topic, was a great lesson to learn in class.