The session about how to get people and sources to talk to you was one of the most informative that I have been to thus far in the early days of the convention. The reporter is a writer for the paper here in Austin, Texas. One of the most difficult person he talked to was a father who left his 18-month son in the car for six hours accidentily and his son died. This story moved a lot of people in Austin, and the reporter did the story weeks after the father’s son passed away.
My question the entire time was how did this reporter get the family to talk about this tragedy? I have difficulty for coaches and players to talk to me. The important thing he emphasized was just ask. A lot of time journalists assume that people don’t want to talk. If we ask, we may be surprised at the results.
Another point he emphasized was he told the family that they may be able to help others. If journalists tell sources why they should talk, they may be more apt to share their story to others.
I received a lot of valuable information in this session, most importantly, being compassionate.
– Pam Richter