“When we were in the back of a van crossing Hungary to Vienna, the driver was drunk and all the smugglers had AK-47s... and I remember my cousin looking at me like, I hope you're not filming. But I was secretly holding the camera.”
"Some people are like, 'Oh I love This American Life!' Those are usually the worst talkers because they're performing for their idea of what This American Life is."
"We always knew he was an absolutely deplorable person who had done horrible things to our nation. That being said, we wanted to really understand him."
Brian Knappenberger, director of the Netflix documentary Nobody Speak, came to the Journalism School for Q&A about press freedom, the tabloid industry, and the Hulk Hogan/Gawker scandal.
"There are a lot of people who now appreciate this kind of journalism in a way they took for granted five years ago. They recognize the need for a vital and active press in a time like this."
"For almost every one of these individuals, they're talking about things that happened yesterday for them, or that they will carry with them for many years to come."
NBC Anchor and Correspondent Kate Snow, who won a 2017 duPont-Columbia Award for her Dateline NBC report, “The Cosby Accusers Speak,” talks with On Assignment about her experience reporting on 27 of the women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual harassment and assault.
"When you do [a story] this big, it's really easy to get swept up into things. It's a rollercoaster that you kind of have to ride. There are really good times and there are really difficult times."
We spoke to Daniel Zwerdling, NPR journalist extraordinaire, who has spent years reporting on veterans’ rights. He spoke to us about the parallels between journalism and psychology, his best interview techniques, reporting short news stories versus year-long investigations of the government.
"I realized that I could approach telling the story by not focusing on a murder and a trial—I could talk about the history of Los Angeles, the history of OJ Simpson, who he really was, to help explain why everyone lost their minds."
Professor Betsy West spoke to filmmaker Nanfu Wang about her film "Hooligan Sparrow," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016. The film follows Ye Haiyan, more widely known as “Hooligan Sparrow," a Chinese activist protesting the case of six young girls who had been sexually abused by their school principal.
"[They had] no clue that what they were doing looked really bad."
"You have a mission to fulfill: to get your readers, listeners and viewers as close as possible to the verifiable truth. And you have promises to keep to your audiences, to yourself, and to one another.
"It's a puzzle I've honestly been thinking about for months: how do we present fact-based reporting to people who do not trust any of us in this room? Like, what do we need to invent to do that?"
The film tells the story of Saba, a Pakistani woman who survives an attempted honor killing at the hands of her father and uncle. The story takes an unexpected turn when she chooses to forgive the perpetrators.
"For me, it was a coming of age story. And the stakes were higher because Owen lives with Autism."
"One of the things that I heard was, “You want to write about black people too much"... Have you ever told a white journalist they're writing about white people too much?"
We speak to NBC journalist and J-School alum Monica Alba about covering the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign. Hint: “Stamina” is the word of the episode.
"We use our power, as filmmakers, in the ways we want to use it. We do it for our own purposes."
"'If we know we could die, why do we keep doing it?' I didn't have an answer for it myself so I looked to other people to try to answer it."
""I needed editors saying, 'Watch yourself, look at what you’re doing...' Really forcing me to question, 'Are you on his side?'"
"The best question often is silence... It can tell you if someone's not telling the truth, it can tell you if they're hiding something."
"When I first went down to South Carolina, I thought I knew what to expect. But I wasn’t prepared for it. Not at all."
“On a story like this, you can’t be objective. I can’t recall a story we’ve ever had where the distinction between good and evil was so apparent.”
“You can't divide the self into good parts and bad parts, good guys and bad guys... That's fiction."
"How is it that smart, discerning people fall into a belief system like this and get lost in it? And how do they get out?"