"Good journalists know how to listen. Listen to people even if they do not seem to have any useful information. They may still say something you can use later."
~chapter 40 of The News Manual
It's amazing how something so simple can be so important. Even though I have tended to rely too heavily on my voice recorder when interviewing people for this class, I do always try to listen to what the person has to say--easier said than done, sometimes, if there is a lot of noise and other distraction around. One thing I know that I need to work on, however, that is important with listening--especially with this type of reporting--is to really listen. Instead of just listening to the words that they say, I need to learn to listen close enough to see if there are follow up questions I need to ask or if there is maybe even a better story than the one I'm following or a better angle for the one I'm following. A lot of times, I seem to stay so focused on the fact that I need to interview the people--to ask them specific prepared questions, since I'm not always good at coming up with the questions on the spot--that I often don't know what to do when they finish speaking except awkwardly say, "Ok. Thank you. Um," and then move on to the next question. I guess what I really need to do is relax so I can fully listen to what they have to say and, if that still doesn't work, learn the importance of following up later if I come up with new questions after listening again.