The second day of Washington Weekend 2023 began at the Friends Meeting of Washington, an historic Quaker house in Washington, D.C., with a journalist panel on "How to Tell a Good Story and Get the Word Out.”
Peter Canellos, a Reporting Fellow advisor and managing editor of enterprise at POLITICO, speaking on the importance of fairness and objectivity in journalism, told the Fellows to “be rigorous” in their reporting. “A nuanced story is a more interesting story,” he said.
Jaime Joyce, a Campus Consortium Advisory Council member, journalist, and former executive editor at TIME for Kids, spoke next on her experience interviewing and working with children. In this role, she said she learned the importance of understanding and transparency. She told the Fellows to make their sources—especially children—comfortable in interviews. “Use empathy,” she said. “Acknowledge them.”
Rhitu Chatterjee, a Reporting Fellow advisor, grantee, and NPR health correspondent, played a short clip from one of her 2015 Morning Edition stories about women in India who had been abused and later found work in school kitchens. Like Joyce, she emphasized the importance of using care while reporting on trauma survivors. “Nobody’s just the trauma they experienced,” she said.
Julia Rendleman, a 2011 Reporting Fellow, current advisor, photojournalist, and journalism professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, wrapped up the journalist panel with a few key takeaways for this year’s Fellows: Be easy to work with, enjoy saying “yes” to projects, don’t give up, make your story unique, and keep pitching—even if you’re not always hitting.