Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions

Argh. No comment.

I don't know why but people tend to ask me these questions when I introduce myself as a journalist, or to be precise a journalist at TJaP. I'll answer them here, so you don't have to ask me these when we meet in real life:)

1. "Do you like working as a journalist?" or "It must be fun to work as a journalist?"
I love words and the process of writing them down to create profound stories. But when you have to do it in a limited time, sometimes it is not fun anymore. Being a journalist is not always fun, actually. It is a very demanding job, not some kind of job we can do at leisure.  My parents are against me working as a journo, I've had friends calling me snob just because I don't have time to hang out with them and the news gathering process can be a real pain in the ass. There are moments when I think of giving it up, but when I think it over, I always find at least one reason to keep going. (I guess it's called passion?)

2. "Do you come here alone?"
Journalists who work for newspapers, radio or online media usually cover the news on their own. Well, sometimes journalist and photojournalist go together, but once we reach the spot, we do our job separately. TV journalists usually work in team.

3. "When will you publish the news?" (usually the PR persons, or even the sources)
I'm just a journalist, so I don't know because the decision to publish or not to publish is in the hand of the editors. But here's a hint, if the journalist works for daily edition, it is likely to appear the next day. If the journalist works for weekly/monthly edition, it is likely to appear on the next Sunday/month. Please don't ask us to inform you on the publishing date, because we, the journalists, have no time to inform you.

4. "Can I read your news before you publish it?" (again, usually asked by PR persons or the sources)
No. You just have to trust me. If you find any mistake in the article, you can write a correction, and we'll publish it, maybe.

5. "You work for TJaP? Your English must be very good?"
There is no such thing as blanket guarantee, former Finance Ministry Sri Mulyani Indrawati said. And in this case, just because I work in an English-language newspaper, it doesn't mean I know everything. I'm still learning and I hope I can continue learning for the rest of my life.

6. "Do you have the Bahasa version of your article?"
No, because I write my article in English. And I don't translate. 

Do you have a burning question you'd like to ask me? Fire away, please.

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