Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lillian Ross: Not "A Fly On The Wall”

By Elizabeth Flores

They say people lose themselves when they become reporters; they lose the ability to understand the people they interview. In a recent article in an online magazine “The Daily Caller,” readers called a few reporters from ABC and the New York Times vultures. After reading the article I have to agree that they were acting like vultures in the way they treated people connected to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Reporters like this put to shame the reporting profession; it made reporters look like none of them have a sense of compassion for the victims of this tragedy.

Reading “Letter from Lillian Ross,” I realized what a real reporter is, someone with an impeccable ethical background who realizes that interviews are not only a way to get the story but a chance to shed some light on a subject’s individualism pertaining to their specific work. She wrote, “Fame and sensationalism alone are never appealing.” I agree that there needs to be more for a story to captivate its readers, a hook that reels the reader in, capturing their attention and interest. She said that when she writes a story sometimes she feels the need to create a short story with a beginning, middle, and an end, and I can understand that. The need to change situations and feelings just because we hold the pen and paper can be powerful but it is good writers who learn that it’s about the subject and their contribution to the story, not our interpretation of it.

I found her writing guidelines to be impressive and easy to follow. I believe that by following these guidelines she was able to grow as a reporter with every piece she wrote. From this reading I was able to learn that being a reporter starts with being a person first, understanding that it is a privilege to get any interview because reporters do not always have a right to them. It was inspiring for me to read this article because it gave me a different perspective than what we typically see reporters being portrayed as. It was so refreshing to read Lillian Ross’s perspective on the ways she interviews, the way she takes notes and her views on what makes a good story. The reading clearly portrays her love for what she does but also that she knows who she is as an individual and therefore understands her limitations; this is, in my opinion, what makes her a good reporter but an even more respectable individual.

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