Day Three: In Which I Angst All Over Life

October 4, 2007 at 7:35 am Leave a comment

An update, in which I describe the dark side of journalism; the part where things are really annoying.

Of course, you know from just the other day that working at the paper is great, as the people are fantastic and I get free swag. I also enjoy writing for the paper a great deal. The problem? The trouble that surrounds writing, and the gripping fear that strikes whenever I submit something.

For example; I’ve spent the last few weeks (this is how you know there’s a problem to begin with- a basic article should never take “a few weeks”) working on an article about a research paper by a guy on campus. This is fairly straightforward; read the paper, interview those involved, write an article about the findings.

Step one went fantastic. Step two has been something of a trial by fire.

At first I had trouble reaching the person who did the research paper. When I finally tracked him down (essentially ambushing him during his one office-hour a week) he said the reason he was reluctant to get back to me is that he didn’t want the story written.


Evidently he’s doing a bunch of follow up research, and he’s worried increased publicity of his paper could contaminate his test pool (which essentially consists of volunteers from the university). Which is perfectly understandable, but makes my life very difficult. Anyway, he agrees to an interview, but asks us to hold off publishing for three weeks.

Last night he forwards me an e-mail from his supervising Professor about the article which essentially says “don’t talk to him, don’t let him publish”.

I’ve since smoothed things over with the Professor, but the idea of being stonewalled on such a basic piece is utterly perplexing to me.

Needless to say, my Editor is getting somewhat upset by the fact that not only is the story not done, but it will not theoretically be done for several weeks. In general, it is not good to have your editor upset.

This afternoon I tracked down another Professor I was intending to interview. I hadn’t managed to get any calls through, and it appeared he did not have e-mail, so I ended up ambushing him (this apparently happens a lot in journalism) as he was leaving class and asked if I could schedule an interview.

He said no. He also said he was not comfortable giving an interview. He seemed visibly uncomfortable about even talking about giving an interview. Now I need to start over and track down a different professor.

Essentially what’s happening here is that I’m doing a very bad job with my first assignment. It’s pretty shitty, and sets a terrible precedent.


The other bad part about journalism is actually submitting stuff. Ten minutes ago I sent in my reviews from the Vancouver International Film Festival, and I am now gripped with fear. Were they any good? Will the editor hate them? He’s already expressed a general hatred for reviews, which is not a good thing. So now I get to spend the next eight hours stewing in paranoia instead sleeping.

This hasn’t been a very good day for me, for those reasons among others. Absolutely no one is interested in hearing about it, but this is my blog and that’s how we roll.

Tune in tomorrow for the aforementioned reviews, with special bonus commentary. A lot of it.


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Day Two: Wherein I Reflect on the Badass that is Ninja Day Four: Crap, I Missed It

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