Class Blog Discussion #1

Please read: “How David O. Russell Made Me a Journalist,” by Callie Schweitzer and weigh in on the comments section of this blog post with your own comments.

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10 Responses to Class Blog Discussion #1

  1. tombeaton98 says:

    I thought that the message was pretty clear: persistence is a big part of getting a great story. Had not the author stayed the course and made sure to meet O.Russell, then she wouldn’t have had such a great opportunity/story. On a side note I hope to interview someone as cool as David O. Russell. I just started getting into his movies and saw “American Hustle” a couple times already.

  2. alane says:

    I feel like I was done with this article before I realized that I was taking time to read it. The transitions, flow and wording just made it a real pleasure to read. Not to mention that the story she told was interesting and amazing. She really put into perspective the idea that ‘everything happens for a reason’. Not getting your dream job, and then getting put on a seemingly impossible story doesn’t feel great (I imagine). But having it turn around, and become an amazing article, event, and story to tell later, must have been a great ego boost for her at the start of her career. Having such an iconic figure be the focus of your first major piece must have been nerve-racking, but being assigned to a high-profile article really challenges interviewing, reporting, and writing skills that might not be used as effectively with a more mainstream subject. I really liked that she was able to humbly reflect on the event, and realize where she got her start. I thought that by ending on the Russell’s poignant advice, she did a nice job of tying together all the ideas that she had presented throughout, and reinforced why she does what she does, and why she loves what she does.

  3. Kyla Galer says:

    I think this article was an inspiring piece that reminds you that as a journalist stories are constantly surrounding us. This piece is a cool example of when a story forms within a story. At the time Callie thought she was just anticipating a phone interview, but from there it turned into so much more. It shows how you always have to be on your game, and aware of your surroundings. From a multimedia perspective, as well as an aspiring broadcast reporter, it made me appreciate the power of print journalism. You wouldn’t have been able to capture the imagery in a 2 minute package like Callie did in this article. It made me think how sometimes the visual part of journalism doesn’t necessarily have to be literal.

    I think Callie did a nice job of capturing her “awkward” 15 year old self. I think something to add to the story (maybe a little unrealistic) would be a follow up with David. O Russell. It would be cool to see if he remembered her and that day he decided to show up at his old high school.

  4. I started this article with a lot of excitement. David O. Russell was the one who directed American Hustle, so he was the one who I interacted with while in the movie. However, as I read this article I realized I loved for another reason. I have always believed that there are moments in every person’s life that make them realize they are doing something right. Whether it be a moment in a career or a comment from your child, if you do not every so often have a moment that convinces you that you are on the right track, then you are doing something wrong.
    This article was a perfect representation of that moment. A moment when she realized what her potential could achieve. It made me think of my moments that I’ve had that have made me realize that I am on the right track. It made me ask what other journalists’ moments have been. It made me excited to be a journalist and to see what life has in store for me.

  5. Kristina Kulyabina says:

    After reading this piece, I wondered whether Callie just got lucky to take on such an assignment or if her editors were just plain mean and gave her an assignment they thought was out of reach. If the upper is the case, then I think she really deserved the assignment. The fact that she didn’t give up after being denied the sophomore position showcases her determination. It’s almost like she created her own luck in a way and went along to turn ‘just a high school activity’ into a life mission of telling other people’s stories.

    I also admire her ability to interview someone famous because I would most likely freeze up in the middle of the conversation. She was intimidated at first on the phone, but then courageously spent the entire day with O. Russell talking and walking around. It’s important to get your subject comfortable with you, but it is even more important to be comfortable with yourself as an interviewer.

  6. Taking an intimidating and offbeat story is an excellent way to test yourself as a writer and as a journalist. Schweitzer speaks here to the value in following through on a story she originally thought she couldn’t do, but when she went out, did the legwork and got good contact with sources she managed to turn an impossible story into a life-changing, personal and journalistic success. She knew nothing about the story going into it and still dove in blind, to her benefit. It’s a helpful reminder that that next story you write could be the Pulitzer prize winner, but it won’t be anything until you get out and make it a reality.
    I really liked the way Schweitzer plays with her own mood within the piece, from devastated to determined, defeated to vindicated, and lost to found. It drags the reader through the experience from her point of view, which engages the reader in her specific thoughts and emotions as the story developed. Very well written, and good use of time.

  7. blithgow1515 says:

    The most pertinent takeaway for me was that we should not shrink away from daunting assignments unless we’re sure we cannot do them well. Even if doing so means we have to learn or sharpen some skills we should try. Being nervous is fine when there is a lot on the line, but letting our fear of failure excuse us from trying is only going to stunt our growth. We should commit to accepting the challenge of important projects unless we have a very good reason to decline. We should jump even when our body is shaking and telling us to stay in the plane. If we just breath and remind ourselves that we are smart and capable people who know how to get any help we might need from our peers or the web then our nerves should settle enough to feel excitement at being chosen for the task.

  8. mariauminski says:

    I read this article a few weeks ago when the journalism department facebook page posted it. Right off the bat I was curious and excited to read this article because I was wondering if the effect that David O. Russell had on her was a positive or negative one that propelled her into the world of journalis because of he has a touchy history with the media and people he works with. I was happy to see that it was a positive experience and this article was a reminder that nothing is out of reach. For me, that was one of the reasons of why I wanted to get into journalism, to go, do and see things that I never knew existed or thought possible. The idea of interviewing Russell seems so far out of reach but if you give it a try you never know what you might get out of it. I remember my senior year of high school, asking if I could interview the President of the Rose Parade when she came to visit because our high school band was participating in the parade. When I interviewed her, for our school newspaper and it was a surreal moment for me then, granted definitely not as cool and high profile as David O. Russell, but back then I felt like I was being let behind the velvet rope. This article not only served as a great reminder of ‘going for it with nothing to loose’ as well as a bit of nostalgia for me.

  9. Taylor Smaldone says:

    Reading Schweitzer’s story reminded me of a piece of advice my father once gave me, “some of the best leaders come from the crowd”. You don’t have to have a fancy title or be officially recognized as a leader in order to make an impact. In rising above rejection and putting her efforts toward being the best journalist she could be, Schweitzer learned something she may not have had the opportunity to learn as an editor. From the sounds of it the interview with Russell not only helped her decide to be a journalist but also taught her to rise above adversity.

  10. I loved this article because it included so many lessons in an entertaining and easy to read article. Like Alane said, Callie was successful in grabbing and maintaining her audience, so well that we didn’t even notice six minutes slip by. One of my favorite parts of the article is the career advice weaved into her story of disappointment turned success. Journalism is hard field that requires persistent hard work. This was reflected in Callie’s juvenile yet comparable experience in her high school newspaper. After stories worth of hard work, Callie did not achieve the position she wanted. She made the mature decision to keep pushing on despite her failure, which is a great lesson that can be applied to multiple aspects of life, including the journalism field. Great rewards come to those who stick it out.

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