I’m such a journalist

Two things caught my attention recently that reminded me how much of a journalism nerd I am.

First there’s this last interview with John Lennon from Dec. 23, 2010. This was done three nights before his death. Crazy, huh?

The journalist in me loved reading this because it was his last interview. How crazy that must of felt to conduct the last interview with a influential musician without knowing it. Heartless to say, I know, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

But what stuck out the most to me was this line:

"…John Lennon spoke to Rolling Stone editor Jonathan Cott for more than nine hours at his apartment on New York’s Upper West Side and at the Record Plant recording studio.”

NINE HOURS!?! and here I thought 30 minutes was too long. Wow.

But again, the journalist in me would be ecstatic to get that much time with John Lennon, let alone an hour. Imagine all the good material he could use(!), but how would you transcribe that though? Nine hours is crazy. Hope he took some really good notes.

Then this list came out: a checklist for being a “real” journalist. Of course I had to read it, and of course I relate to most of these.

  • Written a 15-inch story in 30 minutes - In word count terms, a 15-inch story is about 600 words. And yes, I’ve done this more than I would like. I’ve also received a story assignment, did the interview, transcribed it, wrote out the story and turned it in in less than 24 hours. Yes, I’m crazy.
  • Corrected a loved one’s grammar in a greeting card - Do Facebook statuses count?
  • Replaced one of the major food groups with coffee - Oh geez. More often than not, breakfast is just coffee.
  • Eat in your car more often than you do at a table - For me, it’s on a curb.
  • Forgotten what it’s like to have the weekend off - HAHAHAHAHAHA
  • Can no longer read a newspaper without scanning for typos and errors - It sucks the fun out of reading sometimes.
  • Woke in a cold sweat thinking you forgot to change the date on A1 - I wake up in cold sweat thinking I forgot a word or should have fact checked that one detail one more time. And yes, I’ve emailed an adviser or editor at 4 a.m. to change something in my story before it goes to print.
  • Spend your down time coming up with the perfect lede -Yes, and the perfect ending.
  • You think it’s normal to work 16 hours a day for 8 hours pay - Not only do I not think it’s normal, I find myself doing this over and over again anyway.
  • Have conducted a phone interview while completely naked - Completely naked? No. That’s just weird. In my underroos? Yes.
  • Threatened to quit over an editorial decision - Oh yes.
  • You couldn’t imagine doing anything else - DEFINITELY YES.

Sigh, I am a journalist.

But I’m ok with that.

journalism journalism nerd journalist stuffjournalistslike john lennon rolling stone magazine