Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stepping outside myself: interviewing other people

Sometimes it is really fun and interesting to talk and talk about what is in your (meaning my) head and life. A blog is a great venue for making it all about me, what I think, and what I experience. I think that is why so many of us write blogs and why probably even more of us read blogs: to get inside another person's head and see how valid our own experiences are.

Blogs are the ultimate coffee klatch and peeping tom opportunity. I’ve heard it said that the blogworld is indicative of our innate voyeurism.

I agree; We've always had interest---prurient or noble---in others.

Every story since the beginning of time that I can think of has some element of eavesdropping, nosiness, curiosity, care, concern, and interest. There is frequently a plot point that has to do with learning information indirectly, and some characters revolve completely around delving into other people’s information.

Consider Hamlet, a play that depends upon the characters listening in, poking around, investigating, and consider the central character himself---the infamous Hamlet---whose character is a professional skulker and eavesdropper, and who is surrounded by other professional eavesdroppers (Polonius behind the tapestry, for example).

Moving past fiction, our language has more words for busybody than Eskimo has for snow. Nosey Nellies and Little pitchers with big ears are pure examples of how humans have always been interested in one another.

The blog world is simply a newer medium for it.

Previously, we learned about others we don’t know personally through stories, interviews, news accounts, etc.

And so I thought: what if my blog was more than just a window to my life, but also a window into other, interesting lives?

So begin the interviews. Interviews with interesting people as I meet them, and as I get the interviews done and set up for posting, with some of my words interspersed now and again.

I’m happy and honored to say I was able to interview first Rosemary Pennington, a young and successful woman in broadcast journalism.

Here is a brief bio from her radio station---WBHM 90.3---web site, and next post will be her interview about her work and herself.

Rosemary Pennington

Rosemary, a reformed Buckeye, is the local voice of WBHM's afternoon programming. You can hear her during Fresh Air, All Things Considered and Marketplace.

Rosemary has lived in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains all her life; so it just seemed to make sense that when she left Ohio her new home wouldn't be far from the range. Enter Birmingham; a city she's come to love, but still finds herself lost in on occasion.

Before making her way south, Rosemary worked at WOUB in Athens, Ohio, for five years. She also spent a summer at WTAM Newsradio 1100 in Cleveland, Ohio. The fall after September 11th she found herself across the pond, inside CNN's studios in London.

Rosemary's won several awards for her reporting at WBHM including the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award from the Foundation for Biomedical Research and the Douglas L. Cannon Broadcast Journalism Award from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama. She's also taken part in the RTNDA/Rias Kommission German-American Journalist Exchange -- an experience she will never forget.

Some of Rosemary's work:

AIDS: The Epidemic in Alabama

Meth and AIDS

Babec's Pacemaker

My Uncle Danny

By Julie Pippert
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