I’ve been “working” as a journalist for a long time now (look how cool I am!). Since January of 2010, on and off, I have been involved in the production of news. And in that whole time I am still in awe of one thing: how difficult it can be to get interviews.
For example, I started working with PBS’ To the Contrary in May of 2011. Michele Bachmann announced her candidacy at the first debate in June. I have been in touch with her campaign press secretary, her congressional communications director and her book’s publicity people. I have yet to schedule, let alone have an interview with her. She is one tricky woman to nail down. And every time I see her doing an interview I get a little upset. I know, I know. News people are supposed to have thick skin. I just can’t help but feeling like I’m the last kid picked in gym class.
Bachmann is not my only interview quest. She is just the only one who hasn’t turned me down outright. In general, I just hear no (which is like not getting picked at all) and maybe (which only serves to get my hopes up). Sometimes I schedule some great interviews. And sometimes I can’t get a response.
I’m easily discouraged. So hearing “no” once makes me want to give up and stop trying. In my job, that won’t fly. We have to schedule the great interviews, the interesting stories. And we have to get them in DC, which is no small feat.
But the best feeling? When we get the interview. When I can write it on our giant wall calendar because we scheduled something. I love that feeling. And that’s why I continue on this arduous quest. And Michele? If you’re reading this: PLEASE let me schedule you.