On the eve of fall 2012 field reporting

By Teresa Avila

My thoughts on this trip are expressed by tightness in the chest.

It’s not fear, because my brain tells me I’ll be challenged, not put into mortal peril. It’s not exactly anxiety. Otherwise the tightness would become a constricting pain.

I’ll call it trepidation.

I know what I’ll be doing and I know what will be expected of me, but I don’t know whether I can deliver. It’s not about my willingness to work, but my raw ability to report. I recall last semester, when I attended a similar trip to watch the Sand Hill cranes in Nebraska. The stress of reporting—taking notes, recording information—has stayed with me. I remember a constant, awful sense that I’m blowing my chances in the field, and will end up tearing my hair out in front of the computer.

Turning information into a story is why I love journalism. This, the gathering of the information, is where I start to worry.

— Edited by Sonja Gjerde

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One response to “On the eve of fall 2012 field reporting

  1. I think this fear is normal. I still feel it and I’ve been a journalist for decades. Sometimes I worry too much about my next question and don’t always hear what is really being said. Just listen. I have to say this to myself…Just listen.

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