When I read and think about past issues of The Times-Delphic, my thoughts hardly transcend the obvious gaffes on the page: an extra period here, no hyphen there. I only have a moment, so I only think about the small.
Big-picture thoughts, good or bad, rarely receive my care. I wrongfully assume I need a few hours — even a day — to contemplate my progress. Wrongfully, too, I make excuses about self-reflection.
I need Confucian or Aristotelian wisdom to truly reflect. I need to eat Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream before I can can explore the deep or complex.
And, the excuse I toss out most of all: I don’t have time.
In this week off, though, I have taken the time to expand my thoughts to the big picture and take a look at The Times-Delphic and journalism beyond the page. Though this week is as busy as any other, I put the excuses away (Ben and Jerry miss my old, expensive excuse, no doubt) and took a look at what I have learned in two years at the TD.
The more self-assured you are, the more likely a source is to open up to you. As a gentle person, I formerly hedged around asking potential sources to speak to me.
My interview request procedure went somewhat like this: “Can I please interview you? If not, that’s OK, too. Just let me down gently, please.”
OK, I may have exaggerated that last sentence.
Now, though, I focus on the source and let him or her know how valuable his or her thoughts on X subject are to the TD and me.
Today, my interview requests are more concise, clear and, I confess, a tad frank. Though the change in tone, which has developed slowly over my two years, yet shocks me, I know sources are more eager to talk to me when I focus more on them.
This “more of you, less of me” idea has grown throughout my Times-Delphic career.
To move beyond commas, hyphens and interview requests, journalism is truly about more of you and less of me.
There are always more of you I have a duty to inform. More of you I have a duty to interest.
Most of all, there are always more of you I have a duty (and desire) to serve.