After Sunday’s volleyball game (Missouri versus Kentucky), I asked two questions. The first stuck with me because of the question itself, and the second stuck with me because of the answer:
1. The win over Kentucky put the Tigers at 27-0, and as I listened to interviews with the head coach and one of the star seniors, I realized that what I really wanted to know hadn’t been answered. So when junior Whitney Little came in for the final interview, I asked her if the team had a “loss plan.” The SID laughed, and I think everyone was a little surprised, but she answered. It wasn’t a deep or even a particularly good question, but I tend to stick to safe topics, and this taught me that I just need to ask what I want to ask and not be shy.
2. Later, when assistant city editor Ted Hart was working with me on my story, he cut out my last sentence and ended the story with a quote. I knew that my original ending was weak, but I explained to him that I was trying to end with my own voice (that was one of the suggestions Steve Padilla gave in the podcast editor Katherine Reed had our class listen to). I asked for Ted’s advice. He said he writes his endings first, often choosing a story early on that he wants to end his piece with. He compared ending an article to playing a final chord in a song, and he said ending on a quote gives the speaker control over the chord, instead of the writer. Well said.