Posted by: Caitlin Cavanaugh | September 13, 2010

Note taking: A journalist’s most valuable trait

In the past week I have learned a valuable lesson, the ability to take notes during a presentation. In theory it sounds like an easy task, but I found that it was rather difficult. Last Tuesday I was asked to attend the Charlie Cook event for this class and take notes so I could write an article on the event the next day in class.

The Harrower assignment this week focused on reporting, which fit well with our assignment last week. It told me the best way to take notes in order to write interesting articles. The point that was emphasized the most was writing down detailed, interesting quotations. This is where I struggled. I found it hard to pick out the quotes that would be the most interesting and most useful in an article. I wrote down quotes that I thought were interesting, but weren’t useful when writing the article, in the future I will have to listen more closely to get the interesting quotes.

Reporting has started to become a new interest in my life. As I read more about the kind of person that a reporter needs to be and the type of writing a reporter does, I find myself taking a liking to it more and more. Writing with a deadline, covering interesting stories, and sharing them with readers sounds like an exciting line of work.

I have never thought about going into journalism, but last week I felt as if I had a real feel for it. Before Charlie Cook began his presentation on the House turning over to the Republicans I was able to talk with him. I found myself asking questions and conversing easily. From this conversation I was able to pick out a quote to use in my article that made it more personal. While I was talking to him I didn’t feel uneasy and as if I could carry on an important conversation. It was a new feeling for me and I think I am going to go with my gut and seriously think about going into journalism.


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