Did you vote in the last presidential election? Did your candidate of choice win or lose? Were you surprised? Rather than listening to people, the media listened to the polls. The cost of not listening can make you become very disconnected from things that affect you and others on a daily basis. Not listening has an impact on lives because people feel unheard.
Today’s guest is Hillary Frey, director of editorial strategy at HuffPost. She is challenging you to talk to someone and ask them a question, then actually take a moment and listen to their answer. It’s easy to make a gesture toward listening and caring. So, slow down and get past checking the box by asking a question, just to be considerate. It takes effort and practice, but becomes easier. Hear what is being said. Listening offers inspiration and bonding.
Tune in to Learn
- Huffington Post did a Listen to America tour to interview people about the last presidential election and to teach young journalists how to listen deeply and without judgement to stories.
- Hillary shares her journey to becoming a news editor. She enjoys listening to her reporters report stories. The best reporters ask the fewest questions, but they ask the right questions.
- Hillary’s passion is listening because everybody has a story. You can find yourself moved and engaged by a story you didn’t know existed.
- On the tour, HuffPost did not go in with an idea about what to ask, but made interviews as open-ended as possible to get people to share their stories.
- The bus tour was an opportunity that would help HuffPost talk directly to people and approach journalism differently than it had been done in the past.
- People wanted to talk about serious topics and issues that are deeply personal to them, such as education and health care.
- People were eager to share their stories and opinions. They had something to say.
- The tour was open to the public, but HuffPost also wanted to meet with specific communities, including the deaf and poor.
- HuffPost workers approached interviews in their own way. Some would ask, “What’s on your mind today?” Or, “Why are you here?”
- Interviews were brief to be able to talk to as many people as possible. About 1,500 recorded interviews were conducted.
- Consistent patterns from the interviews were people’s gratitude for being heard.
- Where you go is critical to listen to specific people and communities.
- Experiencing empathy and understanding makes for better journalists and reporters, and being a better person.
- As a result of the tour, HuffPost gave young journalists with little experience in the field to do reporting and look for great stories.
- HuffPost wants to make sure to continue interviewing and getting stories from various communities to cover the country better and differently.
- There are stories happening across the country that are of national importance but are missed because of the way media works.
- Our interactions with each other, especially at work, are usually superficial and a formality. Pull the threads of the conversation for it to be meaningful.
- Create a daily life where your force yourself to listen to people. It changes from being work to being a privilege.
Links and Resources:
“It’s so easy to make the gesture towards listening and caring.” Hillary Frey
“The best reporters ask the fewest questions, but they ask the right questions.” Hillary Frey
“You can find yourself just so moved and engaged by a story you didn’t even know existed.” Hillary Frey
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