During my fall term of the 2016-2017 school year at Oregon State University, I took NMC 301, Writing for the Media, with Alina Padilla-Miller. When first learning I was required to take another writing class, it was only my natural reaction to sigh and lower my head. I’m not a poor writer, but academic writing has never been my strong suit.
My view of the class quickly changed once I shook off the end-of-summer depression, and put on my thinking cap. Writing for the media is vastly different from any academic paper, although I have learned that it does not make it any easier. Starting off simply with free writing posts and class discussions about the readings, things quickly picking up the pace with lessons about journalism structure.
My favorite chunk of the class was learning about interviews and the interviewing process. For me, it started with that one TED talk given by Marc Pachter. He turned the interviewing process inside-out, showing us his thoughts as he navigated his way through different conversations. In the end, that is what a good interview is, a conversation.
I took his experiences of interviewing and tried to apply it to my own interviews conducted for my news feature. In the end, I found it pretty successful. I honestly thought it was going to be easy (ha ha), but that did no hinder me from quickly finding my rhythm with directing the conversation. Those few interviews I did were some of the biggest sources of information I found. I was able to meet with experts who have been working with the farmer’s market and organic growing for most of their adult life. Side note; I love hearing how people’s lives play out because it gives me (a naïve college student) hope for the future.
To conclude, I have to put in a request for all future NMC 301 students. The Swan Song was so depressing. I know that is the reason why we watched it, and the reason why we felt so depressed at the end is because the creators did such a good job at telling the story. However, I personally do no like to cry in front of people who do not know me very well (it shows weakness). Instead, I suggest finding a story about triumph and victory, with a hint of sadness. Something uplifting. It would only benefit the class as students will correlate the feeling of satisfaction with the course itself.
All in all, the class broadened my interest with writing and interviewing.