Three weeks ago, I did my first interview through email. Before then, I had always managed to go and talk with a person face to face, or at least over the phone. I pride myself in catching the small details, like how much of a slouch someone has or whether or not they have a gleam in their eye as they recount a specific story. As cliché as this sounds, my favourite aspect of journalism is having those conversations. You can tell so much from a person from a gleam; you can come to understand that your topic of conversation at that moment is important, and worth spending time with.
Then you sit down and write your article, and suddenly a picture of a person just comes to life. Maybe it doesn’t come across to readers, but I feel satisfied that I did my work.
With the interview I did three weeks ago, I didn’t get the details, and I felt like my story was flat. I found the article hard to write, even. I had a similar experience when I did my first phone interview, but at least I had a vocal reaction to describe. With written text, I felt like I had nothing but a carefully constructed and considered quote that lacked a voice. I couldn’t help but wonder what I would have wound up with had the interview taken place over Facebook, or in a 140 character tweet.