Thursday, October 7, 2010

Storytelling At the Washington Post

In two of my classes this week Manuel Roig-Franzia came in to talk about his experiences writing for the Washington Post's Style section. After listening to him speak, I came away with almost a sense of awe at how ingrained it seems to be in him to tell stories.

For almost an hour today he just talked about the stories he's covered and what talking to the people he interviewed was like. He started off telling us about traveling to Haiti in the wake of the Earthquake earlier this year, and went on to discuss interviewing Bill Bond a man who fully admits to having killed his father (but who never served any time in jail for it), and getting the scoop on the White House puppy. Yesterday I heard him talk about his work covering lobbyists in Washington D.C. based on articles about Heather Podesta and the restaurant Tosca.

Typically listening to someone talk for an hour straight could get really boring, but I found Roig-Franzia's anecdotes about his work reporting to be highly entertaining. Not anything that I think I can really use in my own career mind you, but the guy can really tell an interesting story.

For those who don't know, Roig-Franzia caused quite a stir last year for his role in a fist fight that broke out in the Washington Post newsroom. I don't advocate punching people in the face, and I won't weigh in on whether Roig-Franzia deserved it, but I will say that it is a rare person who is enough of a bad ass to call their boss a cock-sucker and keep their job.

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