This blog is a supplemental resource of philadelphianeighborhoods.com, a publication of the Department of Journalism at Temple University. Philadelphia Neighborhoods is the capstone course for journalism majors in which reporters cover neighborhoods in the city through multimedia. Our blog takes you behind the bylines of the articles to show you where your local news comes from, and how it gets reported.
On my way to do my interview for my individual project, I felt excited. I went and checked out a camera and an audio recorder and I was ready to go. I talked to Adam Ritter, operating manager of the bar I was travelling to and who I was going to interview with, and I was on my way to go meet with him.
I get to the bar and tell him we need to go somewhere quieter because the echo in the bar and the music in the background wouldn’t sound well when I had to edit and post it for my project. He takes me upstairs to the bar’s office and we sit down and start the interview.
I make sure I pressed record on the audio recorder and start asking Ritter questions. By the end of the interview (which ended up being exactly 20 minutes and 47 seconds later) I felt amazing, he was an excellent interviewee, really elaborating on his answers and fully explaining everything. I go to play the interview back on the recorder to make sure it sounded fine and to my horror nothing was being played back. No white noise, no background sounds. Nothing.
I was devastated and embarrassed that I had just wasted this man’s time for 20 minutes with none of that great interview recorded. Ritter tried to look at the recorder to see if he could fix it but he was just as clueless as I was. I plugged in the microphone I had of course forgotten about to see if maybe that was the problem and sure enough when I tested it with the microphone plugged in it worked.
He felt bad for me and rescheduled me for the next day in the afternoon. However, instead of re-interviewing Ritter he had me interview his General Manager Jessica Zerby instead. Zerby was a good interviewee but all I could think about was all that great audio from Ritter that was now gone. My moral of this story is: always check your equipment before you leave because you may not always get a second chance and loose that great footage or audio forever.