It's not a good thing to be friends with people you're covering. There's just no point in doing it. It's tempting, but they're not going to consider you their friend anyway. They just know that you're somebody that can do something for them.
So you shouldn't really flatter yourself that they want to be your buddy. They don't. Generally. They want you for some reason or other, and you just have to fend that off all the time.
You find the most important thing that really grabs you, and put it right up top. Don't bury the lead. Put it at the top. Best thing to do. Never go wrong that way. It's an immutable law of journalism. It just always works.
And you can't really cover people critically that you're friends with.
I was in college for two years, and just hated it in the '60s.
If you ask questions that interest you, you'll get answers that interest your audience.
It's gonna be short if it's news; put it at the top. Style's not an issue, just make it news.
Some of the most important stories don't lend themselves to television treatment.
Television's not going read stories to you.
Unless you're doing a feature piece, which is going to be longer, and you have more time to get into stuff.
Well, a lead is the most important thing about the story.
Whomever you're going to interview, you have to be interested in what it is you want to know from them. You have to be interested in the subject.
So no one should rely on television either for their knowledge of music or for news. There's just more going on. It's an adjunct to the written word, which I think is still the most important thing.
I came over here and worked for rock magazines, and I worked for Rolling Stone, which has a very high standard of journalism, a very good research department.
I don't find music being less important than, like, politics.
Well, in features, and in writing especially, it's often the style of the writer comes in.
Television's very dependent on images. That's not what news is.
And so popular culture raises issues that are very important, actually, in the country I think. You get issues of the First Amendment rights and issues of drug use, issues of AIDS, and things like that all arise naturally out of pop culture.
And the most important thing you can do is learn to edit yourself. And then go back and rewrite.
But music raises a lot of issues. Music is something that matters to people a lot, and they put a lot of passion into it. And I think when you have an area like that, you're gonna find a lot of issues coming up.
I know what the structure of the language is.
I spent time in, like, criminal courts, and covering murder trials for papers.
I think television often has dismissed younger people. They figure, well, they're not really watching news, that's not our audience.
I worked for a newspaper in Europe for, I lived in Europe for about seven years, so I worked in this sort of a yellow journalism kind of a thing, it was like a scandal sheet.
Rewriting is a large part of the whole job. And get rid of stuff that's not working. Just pare it down until it's a beautiful thing you can hand in.
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