I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that the trip is actually tomorrow and not still off in the future. I’ve known of this class and this trip since last November, and I’m still not sure what to expect. I know it will be mentally draining. I’ve spent entire days, several days in a row, engaged in listening and taking notes (I don’t think I can call it journalism, even though I called it at the time), and from that experience I anticipate that the end of every day of the Field Reporting Institute will feel like I got my head stepped on. But that’s a good feeling. No time spent listening to others tell you what they know is ever poorly spent.
I hope that the trip is more than a tour and a series of lectures from experts and the more powerful stakeholders involved in the issues we’re researching. I hope we can find time for detours and surprises. I want one source to inform my questions to another. I’ve heard good journalism described as a conversation, and that’s the ideal for the weekend for me—one long conversation. And I hope to learn a lot.
– Ben Unglesbee