A Conversation Between Two Generations of Journalists

Produced by Reece Krall



Reece Krall: Hi, my name is Reece Krall. I’m a producer for The Campus Ledger and I’ve been doing journalism for about one year and today I’m going to be interviewing Mr. Joel Nichols. 

Joel Nichols: A lot of the time for myself and for a lot of people who kind of entered journalism when I did or before I did because there seemed to be much more of a demarcation  when I started between those who did the video production part of it and the stuff that is happening behind the cameras here and the people who were going out and interviewing people or doing the reporting or putting the stories together or anchoring or whatever. There was a real kind of a demarcation where you either do this or you do this. What you are kind of an example of is a multi-media journalist in a way where you actually are sort of the one person band idea where you take your equipment with you and you do all of it your behind the scenes you do the interview you do the writing you do the editing and more and more newspapers are trying to expand  

Mine was really by accident, I was always interested in politics and history and social issues and I had an interest in journalism from a sort of historical point of view. People like, Edward R. Murrow and Cronkite and all these great journalists, especially broadcast journalists. But, to actually work around the field was sort of an accidental thing. 

Reece Krall: I mean I’m kind of similar, I didn’t want to do journalism in high school I thought it was going to be terrible and I never wanted to do it because, I don’t know, it didn’t seem interesting. Then I actually got a job based about it and like was this is actually kind of cool to learn what other people think. 

Joel Nichols: Right. 

Reece Krall: What their opinions are on stuff. 

Joel Nichols: I’ve heard it said and I think there’s some truth there that the essential element to a journalist is curiosity. You do have to be curious about people, and about issues and want to ask questions so this kind of triggered that for you.  

Reece Krall: Yeah, my first stories were about the construction that was going on over there and just going out there it was like, they just said go out and find a story and I you know got some shots and I was like this is pretty interesting actually to learn why they are doing this to learn what are they doing this for? Just to kind of see what you know a lot of people normally wouldn’t see. You actually get to go out and do that and show people this is what’s going on. This is you know behind the scenes kind of stuff. 

Joel Nichols: Right, and that may be the thread that ties every generation of journalists and every level of journalists together is that curiosity. 

 Reece Krall: I’d agree. 

 Joel Nichols: You really do need to be curious about things. So when you get – I mean there are reporters every day in every town who will go in and get exactly the assignment you got which is ‘hey, go find a story,’ or ‘this happening, go tell us what’s happening over there,’ and they may have no knowledge or interest in it but if they have a general idea of curiosity that really is what will push you forward. 

 Reece Krall: I think it’s to tell people stories that normally wouldn’t be told and to share news, you know let people know what’s going on and tell them this is happening, this is important and you should probably know about this or you should know about this because it’s happening. If it’s local, you need to know what’s happening in your town. If it’s the weather, you need to know about what’s going to be happening for the next week. 

 Joel Nichols: Right. 

 Reece Krall: It’s just to spread news to let people know there are things happening that you can’t see but you should still need to be aware of, like these are important things that you should know about. 

 Joel Nichols: So that’s interesting because that’s sort of, and I’m heartened to hear you say it because that is kind of an old fashioned way of looking at what journalism should do and I’m not saying, we’re going to tell stories everybody’s going to love so they’re going to watch us or read our paper or go to our website. You’re saying we need to tell stories people need to hear. Which is not always the coolest story in the world, but it might be an important story. And sometimes I think that, and this has happened throughout journalism it’s just a new thing but maybe a little more pronounced today, there’s much more of a push on what’s going to get, if you’re television or radio, what’s going to get our ratings or what’s going to get our hits you know, how can we gin that up a little bit and I think that what you’re saying should be more of an ethos for journalists, period. 

 Reece Krall: My name is Reece Krall this is Joel Nichols, thank you for meeting with me. 

 Joel Nichols: My pleasure Reece! Fascinating conversation. 

 Reece Krall: I agree, From the Campus Ledger, this has been Reece Krall.



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