“Going into Syria itself at the point where we started shooting was basically a suicide mission. Not so much the risks of combat, but the risk of being kidnapped, sold to ISIS and having your head cut off. So we were making a film about the Syrian civil war and we couldn't shoot in the Syrian civil war.”
Zoe Chace of This American Life and Michael Barbaro of The Daily speak about the rewards and challenges of making stories for audio, the "tyranny of the good talker," and the sense of intimacy that comes from the voice alone.
“The solution to this whole fake news crisis is not being sucked into it, and covering the story. What we don't want to do is do 'he said, she said' journalism. It's not very good for clicks though.”
“When we were in the back of a van crossing Hungary to Vienna, the driver was drunk and all the smugglers had AK-47s... and I remember my cousin looking at me like, I hope you're not filming. But I was secretly holding the camera.”
"Some people are like, 'Oh I love This American Life!' Those are usually the worst talkers because they're performing for their idea of what This American Life is."
"We always knew he was an absolutely deplorable person who had done horrible things to our nation. That being said, we wanted to really understand him."
On Assignment speaks with Kate Howard, a veteran investigative reporter for WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, who shares her essential tips for doing a 15-minute background check on your sources.
Brian Knappenberger, director of the Netflix documentary Nobody Speak, came to the Journalism School for Q&A about press freedom, the tabloid industry, and the Hulk Hogan/Gawker scandal.
"There are a lot of people who now appreciate this kind of journalism in a way they took for granted five years ago. They recognize the need for a vital and active press in a time like this."
"It struck me how quickly the facts of a life just start to immediately disappear when someone dies."
"For almost every one of these individuals, they're talking about things that happened yesterday for them, or that they will carry with them for many years to come."
NBC Anchor and Correspondent Kate Snow, who won a 2017 duPont-Columbia Award for her Dateline NBC report, “The Cosby Accusers Speak,” talks with On Assignment about her experience reporting on 27 of the women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual harassment and assault.
"When you do [a story] this big, it's really easy to get swept up into things. It's a rollercoaster that you kind of have to ride. There are really good times and there are really difficult times."
"I had the Portuguese television station on one side, and my mother on another phone crying and begging me not to leave the house. And I had to tell her 'Mom, this is this is my life.'"
We spoke to Daniel Zwerdling, NPR journalist extraordinaire, who has spent years reporting on veterans’ rights. He spoke to us about the parallels between journalism and psychology, his best interview techniques, reporting short news stories versus year-long investigations of the government.
"I realized that I could approach telling the story by not focusing on a murder and a trial—I could talk about the history of Los Angeles, the history of OJ Simpson, who he really was, to help explain why everyone lost their minds."
Professor Betsy West spoke to filmmaker Nanfu Wang about her film "Hooligan Sparrow," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. The film follows Ye Haiyan, more widely known as “Hooligan Sparrow," a Chinese activist protesting the case of six young girls who had been sexually abused by their school principal.
"[They had] no clue that what they were doing looked really bad."
"You have a mission to fulfill: to get your readers, listeners and viewers as close as possible to the verifiable truth. And you have promises to keep to your audiences, to yourself, and to one another.
"It's a puzzle I've honestly been thinking about for months: how do we present fact-based reporting to people who do not trust any of us in this room? Like, what do we need to invent to do that?"