Some days I am reminded that I am not a reporter.
This happens whenever I lose the arms race.
My weapon of choice is interesting questions.
With certain people, my questions repeatedly fail — entirely insufficient to overcome dull answers.
I can lose on the various battlefields.
Interviews for articles.
Public interchanges about people’s research, new jobs, startups.
It bothers me a lot when I absolutely know that there is something interesting there and I just can’t extract it. It bothers me a little when the article doesn’t get written.
It bothers me a lot more when the public thread fails. This was a possibility for a person’s community to join in the excitement and perhaps collaborate. But they won’t know. In some cases, the person’s family and friends won’t even know because they don’t know how to talk about it.
On those days rather than simply not being a reporter, I am failing as a storyteller.
Wishing I knew how to ask better questions.