COLUMN: Reporter hopes to share profile stories

By Andy Kwalwaser

Best interview I did:

Jacquelyn Mitchard, alumna author. This was the longest interview I had ever conducted, up to that point, and from it I learned a lot about thinking on my feet and responding to the subject while still controlling the interview.

The priceless quote that will hang on my wall:

“Nixon had to shave, maybe, three times a day” -Jim Edgar

The story I was most passionate about:

The tuition series was an important experience, synthesizing every journalistic skill I had used in other situations throughout the semester. The stories were not perfect. But, they were accurate, in-depth and newsworthy, and keyed a new interest for me in investigative journalism.

I wish this story:

I wish the Bunraku Puppet story could happen again, next week. I liked researching this piece, conducted interviews through a translator, and spoke with the sponsoring ambassadors. But, more angles occur to me every day. I think a whole different story could have been told from backstage.

I would love to investigate (this person’s) life further:

John-Paul Buzard builds pipe organs in a warehouse in Champaign and ships them around the country. I profiled him for JOUR 400 this year, but I think his story is deserving of another telling.

What I’m looking forward to covering in the fall:

I would like to apply the analytical skills I developed on the financial aid beat to a wider variety of stories, as much of what I covered this semester is linked to issues of politics, education, and even campus safety.

I work here because:

I wanted to work at the DI because I like to write and report. And I still do. But, my first year at the DI has been more about exploring new opportunities than re-treading old ground. One of the reasons journalism appeals to me is that it offers the opportunity to learn something new every day. I’ve learned more about the craft from keeping my eyes open in the DI newsroom than I have from journalism classes.