The irony of interviewing a reporter

Being a journalism student, I’ve often felt the role I would take in social entrepreneurship would simply be writing about it. Doing social entrepreneurship is no small task, and I believe it’s efforts need to be recognized. The public needs to be aware of what projects are going on, what they can do to pitch in.

This is where the press comes into play.

The man who propelled my interest in journalism and international development–later to be social entrepreneurship– was Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times. The articles he wrote captivated me in a way no other written work had. Kristof visits places across the globe, covering such topics as human trafficking in Southeast Asia, Somali famine victims, empowerment of women, etc. He writes books, he posts a video blog and once a year he takes a selected student with him on an outing somewhere in the world.

As a bright-eyed sophomore in college, the personal accounts Kristof shared in his articles compelled me to put forth my efforts for societal betterment. Indeed, he was the one who gave me the idea of combining writing with development work. He essentially picked my scholastic path for me.

So, why would I be interested in swapping roles and interviewing him?

1) He is a man whose work I admire. I want to discover how he got to where he is at in his profession so I can understand what I need to do now to prepare.

2) I want him to impart his wisdom onto me. What techniques does he employ in interviewing people who might be hesitant to give answers? What safety precautions must he abide by when in nations swarmed by civil unrest and violence? And then of course, what are his favorite writing techniques?

3) From a more social entrepreneurial standpoint, I want to discover what he personally does about the problems he writes about, if anything. I want to hear more about the situations he has discovered, discover more needs social entrepreneurship might tackle. I have not traveled the world, so I need to see it through his eyes and experiences. I need to better comprehend my role as a journalist in the field of social entrepreneurship, and he’s the man (along with David Bornstein) with answers.

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