30 October, 2012

没有学生记者 · You're not a student journalist

Just completed an email interview with a student. My job was to sit in front of the computer, and type out all my answers for him. On a side note, I didn't even find out what's his/her gender.

The interview made me realise some things that I didn't realise before.

I believe there's no 'student journalist'.

A journalist/reporter is as the title states. Aside from being in front of your teacher (that makes you a student), you should always believe that you are a journalist.

就算大家拿着Canon Mark 5D II 而你拿着2006年出产的数码相机,你也是记者。
Even if on the interview venue, everyone's holding a Canon Mark 5D II and you're using an ancient compact camera, you're still a journalist.

Even if people have the bigger, newer, more complicated filming equipment, and you're using a mere iPhone camera, you're still a journalist.

The only thing that doesn't differ between you and them, should be your preparations.

Which is why I say, you should NEVER regard yourself as a student journalist.

When you think of yourself as a S.J. (student journalist is too damn long to type!), you back off in face of setbacks, thinking that it isn't something you can handle as an S.J.

When you think of yourself as an S.J., you are less confident in face of interviewees both commoners and professionals. When your attitude is reflected in your questioning, and affects the quality of answers you get, you tell yourself "oh, they don't take me seriously because I'm just a student".

When people reject you, you take it as "aiyah, it is common for S.J. to be rejected anyway. Forget it". You lose the persistence you should have as a reporter, telling yourself it's either DO or DIE.

These are my experiences so far - feeling inferior because my camera is smaller, my lens is cheaper, my voice is softer, my stand is weaker. These are not because I'm a student journalist, but because I don't know how to respect myself as a journalist.

You become vulnerable not because you are a student journalist,
but because you protect yourself like a student.

I would still feel inferior every now and then, but I'm slowly understanding and learning.

I hope that someone who is in my position would find the courage to become stronger after reading this entry.