Interview Assessment 6
Name of Professional: Sonia Azad
Profession: Health and Wellness Correspondent/Anchor
Date of Interview: 11 October, 2016
Ms. Sonia Azad, being the only broadcast journalist I interviewed, differed greatly from all of the other professionals I had previously interacted with; she was able to offer a different perspective on the industry and share with me new lessons that I had not thought to consider previously. Before the interview, Ms. Azad allowed me to sit in the WFAA studio and watch her anchor a live newscast. I was able to witness firsthand how broadcast journalists have to be on their toes constantly; they never know exactly what they are going to have to talk about, as the news changes every minute. For example, right as Ms. Azad walked into the studio lobby to greet me, a breaking news story flashed across the TV in the lobby and she picked up her pace, nearly running into the studio trying to hear the story. She apologized for being so frantic all of a sudden, explaining to me that she would have to talk about this story on live TV in just a few moments, so she had to find out all of the information on it that she could. This made me really appreciate the difficulty of news reporting, and it solidified the fact that I definitely want to purse print journalism rather than broadcast journalism. Writing, for me, is an experience; I like to sit down and delve into a story, rewriting and editing until I believe my content is perfect and it is something that I can definitely be proud of. If I went into broadcast journalism, I feel that the demands of ever-changing news and the urgency accompanying it would eliminate the ability for me to do that. News stories are much shorter and more concise than those published in magazines or newspapers, and I would rather write stories that provide detail on a subject I feel passionate about, not a broad range of topics I know little about. This the one a major difference that I have found between broadcast and print journalism that has been constant across all of my interviews.
Furthermore, Azad’s expertise helped me realize the importance of visuals in journalism. Azad is an Emmy Award winner- her award winning story detailed life of female textile workers in India. Shot with a cheap camcorder she purchased in the airport, just the harsh reality and rawness of the images was impactful enough to win her the Emmy. Across all platforms of journalism, visual aids add so much to a story. The phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” really does reign true; for some dark, heavy stories, pictures are the only thing that truly make the reader realize the weight of the material. Images also enhance understanding- in a story explaining a medical phenomenon, diagrams do the job better than several wordy paragraphs could. While I do want to focus on the writing aspect of print journalism, I will make sure to include images to enhance my stories whenever possible.