I called the police who’d arrested the mother, but I didn’t really know what to ask them. When I finally sat down to start writing, I realized I didn’t have half the information I needed to tell the story.
Fortunately, Two years later, I went to journalism school and was introduced to the value of “shoe-leather” reporting.
Or it might have included the fact that although the school made his schedule available, presumably for anyone who wanted to avoid him, the woman at the registrar’s office told me I was the only person who’d asked. I got easy As in English and was on the speech and debate team.
But that whole truth would have complicated things. My dad was a lawyer, and he liked to argue, so I argued with him. At the high school newspaper, I wrote op-eds about Valentine’s Day and affirmative action and I reviewed REM’s latest album.
It didn’t matter if the people I was interviewing were forthcoming, I felt like I was intruding.
She begged me to stop the story and I told her the truth: I had absolutely no power to do that.
It didn’t prepare me for the kinds of compromises I was going to be asked to make in the name of sales (or “clicks”) and deadlines, or for a competitive story.
And it didn’t prepare me for the dozens, maybe hundreds, of times people I talked to told me I was scum for doing my job. I learned to ask questions with respect, and to show compassion.
The decision was made by people in an office who would never have to face her.
When I came to New York, I fell into women’s magazines; I wrote book recommendations, and “service” pieces about dating and body image.
But you can’t be a journalist if you can’t handle the fear. ) I told him to wait in his car, and I knocked again. “I know this is awful, but that picture is going to run in the paper.
You can’t even pretend you’re trying to get to the truth if you’re too scared or lazy or careless to ask the important question, or fight over a misleading headline with your editor, or acknowledge that the article you spent all day running around for is so trivial that it might as well be “fake.” *** SOMETIME AFTER THE SEX OFFENDER STORY, I was sent to Staten Island again. Do you want to try to explain, at least, for the readers, what happened? I walked upstairs to the little apartment where her barefoot boyfriend was pacing in basketball shorts.