Interviewing is a part of my daily life, something I do with my phone rather often and a personal favorite part of reporting. I enjoy being able to connect with a source and have them feel like they are being heard, then taking that and giving it a voice on the outside.
Katie Parker is my best friend, which I know may mean I’m too close to the subject to be objective. I decided to interview her because I know she has a fantastic story to tell. Her daughter, Arnolda Ruth Parker (Nollie, for short,) is due in December almost 12 months to the day that her grandfather was told he had 6 months left to live after a colon cancer diagnosis. He’s still kicking, with the intention of being there to see his first grandchild. I honestly think that Katie saved her father’s life by bringing another life into the world and if that story touches me that much, I was certain it would make an excellent audio feature.
I went to hang out with Katie while she showed me the nursery, the cute outfits she’s already gotten for Nollie and continued my ongoing education on how cloth diapers work; a skill I will need to know as a proud Auntie. She asked me to wait until she had put on make-up and took her hair out of a bun before I took her photo, cursing about clothes not fitting right anymore, and then sat in the baby’s nursery. The rocking chair she is sitting on was her husband’s grandmother’s and has sentimental value. She said of the experience that “Taking the picture was the most awkward part.”
This project surprised me because while I had an idea of how I wanted the final story to turn out, Katie’s eloquence in the initial interview lent itself well to a full-on emotional journey. I easily could have produced a story much longer than this about Randy’s struggle with cancer, Katie and Justin’s first baby and Amy’s fantastic mothering. If I could do something different, I wish I would have been able to interview more than one person to complete the story, but I know that was not the assignment.
I really enjoyed editing this project. I took some of the tips that Micah from WPR had given me about scoring and tried to put them to use in the final mix. I was very happy with the way it turned out, and how organizing the interview the way I did kept the story arc tight and cohesive. I adore audio and I anticipate it being a part of my life for a long time. As a radio professional, I use audio every single day (sometimes even when I don’t want to.)
Audio is my favorite medium, versatile, easy to learn, easier to get better at and so impactful when done right– I hope to keep recording and editing audio until I go deaf in my old age.