Here I am taking a photograph of Adriana, who I interviewed for this year’s #nextgenradio project in Reno, in her lovely backyard where she also farms.

Difficulties in Getting an Interview

I work with people who are in trouble. A lot of trouble. I represent defendants criminally indicted in federal court.  When I set a meeting with my clients, they show up. For some of them there is no choice because they are in jail but those who are not, arrive on time and on the right day.  They know I am there to help them, and they want to know what is going on with their case. There is an incentive to meet with me.

Turns out this is not always the case in journalism.  When I was looking for a person to interview about their first days in the United States for the #nextgenradio bootcamp this week in Reno, I thought when people told me they were interested, it meant they were.  But I found out yes does not always mean yes.

I learned about the large gap between someone agreeing to be interviewed, and them actually being there at the scheduled time and day.  This has opened my eyes to the work journalists put in before even doing an interview. Before, when I read a story I did not think of the logistics around getting it produced.  Now I have a much deeper understanding of the preparation work reporters do

Here I am recording water sounds for my audio story about Adriana’s farm.  I learned about the importance of natural sounds to enrich a story’s sense of space.

Reflections on Living in the US

After striking out with several potential interviewees, I was lucky to meet Adriana Marin-Herrera who came to the U.S. alone at age 16.  She left partly because of political instability and drug violence.

After hearing Adriana’s story I have been reflecting on my own experiences.  I like to think I have the courage to leave the United States and build a new life for myself, but I am uncertain about that.  Being an American is so central to who I am that it is hard for me to think about myself separate from that identity.

Lately I have realized how connected to this country I am.  Despite being really unhappy with our current political leadership I feel more devoted to the U.S. than ever.  This country is so vibrant and strong, and will withstand terrible leadership.

This week I have been feeling exceedingly grateful to the founding fathers for allowing eight years max for a president to be in office.  I know a classmate from Turkey who is 27 and has lived with the same president since he was 10 years old. That type of unchecked power can permanently damage a country, and I respect the foresight of our founders to see the advantages of short term power.