On Thursday evening I gave a talk to about 25 people at the Conway Public Library on my reporting trip to Iraq last year. A friend of mine has a son in the library youth program, and his son asked if I would be willing to come speak. It was open to the public, and there was a pretty good turnout. It was my first formal revisit of the trip, and in order to give it I had to root back through my posts while I was there to remind myself of the experience.
Every story I told reminded me of another story, and every vignette sent me directly into the next vignette. It was my attempt of sharing everything I couldn’t cram from that three week experience into the radio stories and blog posts. I had a fantastic time, and my friend tells me it was well received by the audience as well.
I’m bouncing a few of these types of projects around as we speak, although none of them are as comprehensive or with as solid a foundation as that one was. There have been a number of changes at NHPR since last year, and though I still feel welcome to contribute I doubt I could find the same level of support I found then.
That has me mulling around just what the next such project should look like. Like I said, I’ve got a few, but none of them are on the same scale. It is hard, however, to imaging matching the pace of reporting on U.S. troops in the midst of a country that had been a top American enemy for more than a decade.
And besides, I’ve been enjoying rocking the local paper. Day after day I’m churning out interesting stories on real issues. The past year and a half have taught me a ton about the practice of journalism, and I intend to keep those experiences coming.
I do foresee, however, some cool projects on the horizon. Keep your eyes open.