Writing profiles can be tricky. Developing a subject’s personality through words is difficult –– especially considering you’re grasping intimate details of a stranger’s life. As journalists, we must paint a picture. My biggest challenge in writing this profile would have to be capturing these details during the interview and asking in-depth questions.
My ZoomH2N recorded every spoken word from the moment I arrived at the interview location to the moment I opened my car door to leave. This eliminates room for misquoting my subject, but it doesn’t capture details. I should have taken the time to observe my surroundings. I took photos of the restaurant –– I found the acrylic paintings and lime green walls of most interest –– but I didn’t take time to write about my five senses during the interview for the fear that perfect eye contact with my subject was the only way he would respect me –– believe I was actually listening.
I wrote the following during the interview: “26 years old,” “Spokane,” “4.0 GPA,” “Happy Wife is a Happy Life” and “kick-ass deli counter.” When I got home and studied my notes, I wrote down exactly what he said in the interview. I didn’t explain the feel of the room, the swanky music or the smell of delicious seafood cuisine. I wish I had taken the time to note these things. He set aside time for my interviewing him, therefore I wanted to show my respect by giving him my full attention.
My subject seemed comfortable talking with me, however he is a generally shy individual. I had to pry answers out of him; he wasn’t much of a talker. If I chose more in-depth questions that provoked him to answer in depth, it would have been easier to write the profile. I will work on improving these skills in my upcoming enterprise story.