It is a virtue, and it is a must for journalists.
While technology has made the profession much easier, it also adds a new set of challenges. Namely, waiting for people to ANSWER THEIR PHONE.
Let’s all close our eyes for a few seconds and imagine a world where phone calls were always answered.
OK, back to reality. Wasn’t that nice?
This week I had to be patient while working on a couple of stories.
I had to show patience while attempting to contact family and friends of T. Gale Thompson to complete a life story. The family understandably needed time before they were ready to share information with us.
I have also had to show patience while talking to officials from the city and from MoDOT. Some officials don’t pick up the phone, and other officials answer and tell me to call someone else. It’s a bureaucratic mess.
I had to show patience last week too.
Finding sources for the Tyronn Lue story took patience.
Reaching Jan Mees took patience.
Every story takes patience, but I’ve already learned that the wait often pays off.
Gale Thompson’s family shared beautiful stories with me when they called.
A MoDOT official returned my call, rather unexpectedly, to tell me there will be a speed study on South Providence Road after other officials had denied it or deferred responsibility.
After working and working to reach Tyronn Lue’s high school basketball coach, I was finally able to reach him and he gave me a great perspective.
Jan Mees called me at nearly midnight, but was very gracious and more than willing to answer any and all questions I had for her.
The lesson here is that journalism simply takes time, but persistence pays off.