Journalism 107 was one of the most interesting classes I have taken in college. Not just for the lectures or in class discussions, but more for the experience that I got working outside of class. One of the most important things I got out of the class is that you can’t teach curiosity. This is true, to an extent. Curiosity cannot be learned in a classroom, but the things that I have had to do outside of the class have left me more than curious.
In class we would discuss interviewing techniques to prevent from making a fool of ourselves in real interviews, but this was inevitable. Nothing really taught me interviewing skills like actually interviewing somebody did. The first time that we went out and had to interview four people was nerve racking, but it showed me that interviews help you get a better understanding for the subject on a personal level. When I asked my random students about Web Campus, I could see in their faces their discontent for the University rather than looking at a statistic. Also when the Italian students came in for us to interview them I learned that interviews need to have a direction or else the information that you gather will be useless. These interviews in and outside of class helped increase my curiosity for what is inside peoples heads. Now when I do interviews I make sure to research beforehand and try to pose questions that will dig deep into the interviewee.
We would brainstorm and discuss story ideas in class, but I learned that when you really put yourself out there and go for something interesting you will get the best results. It is beyond just brainstorming but actually exploring the world around you. My first story about Femsex was incredibly boring to research and write, so when I was looking for a second story I kept myself curious about everything. It was then that I found something that was worth writing about. With the Goldfield story I had no idea what I was walking into, but once I got there it was one of the most interesting things I have ever seen in Nevada. With cars piled up all around me in the middle of a desert, it was overwhelmingly strange and beautiful. All I could think to myself was, would I be doing this in any other class. I learned so much about small towns in Nevada in a class that is teaching journalism.
This class has not only made me curious about the news that I write, but the news that I intake. Hearing from journalists and professors who are much more attuned to the world that I am made me rethink my news habits. It really hit me when we watched the TEDtalk about filter bubbles. I came into the class only wanting to write about music because I have created a filter bubble for myself in the vast amount of bandcamps and music blogs I read. But because of this class I have expanded my news agenda to more than just the things that interest me. I am curious about the world.
Maybe I have always had a lot curiosity inside of me, or maybe this class achieved the impossible of teaching curiosity. It is probably much more exciting to call it the later, but this class inspired a curiosity in me through breaking my filter bubble online and off.