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Koka SextonPosts tagged "Desk"

Concordian Interview

Last month I met with a writer for a local Concord Ca. paper called the Concordian. The Concordian has been around a really long time. I should have asked the date they started. I couldn’t find it on the website.The paper was mailed to everyone in the city. It was a free monthly newspaper that talked just about our not-so-little city. Not to be confused with the local blogs like Mayor of Concord or Claycord that fill the internets with news. Recently the paper has had to stop the mailings but still prints thousands of copies and places them in Concord, Pleasant Hill and surrounding area.

The writer André Gensburger who is also the co-publisher for the paper first entertained the idea of talking with me a few months ago. He said my background would be something interesting that the community may want to read about. The topic of the article was to talk about how I have adjusted post Iraq. I agreed and thought this would be a nice thing to talk about. The last time I was interviewed by the media for Iraq was after coming home and talking to reporters that had read my Last Letter From Iraq.

The email letter was written about 30 minutes after being extended again and was sent to my family as a way to vent. It was forwarded around and I started getting email responses from complete strangers showing their support. It made its way onto a reporters desk and then the requests to talk started. Only so much could be explained while I was still deployed, but once I got home I got my 5 minutes of fame. I was on the news and written about in the SF Chronicle. It was nice to see my name in the paper and my face on the TV. My family got a kick out of it also.

I met André at the local Starbucks, sat down with my iced venti quad mocha and waited for him to pull out a pad of paper. I figured he was going to take notes because any other interview I have ever given that’s what the reporter did. Even when I was being video taped for the CBS News, the reporter had a note pad. André pulled out a tape recorder and asked if that would be cool. Sure. I thought “what could it harm?”. Other than the fact that I may run off on a tangent or say something I shouldn’t, there was nothing to fear. Sorry André, I was a bit intimidated by the recorder but I thought I was a good sport about it.

Instead of taking notes, trying to catch quotes or other information. Why not just have a conversation, see where it goes and then pull from it for the piece. It actually makes a whole lot more sense that way. Again I was concerned I was about to foot my foot in my mouth. As my wife can attest, I have a tendency to do this often. André made it clear that if there was something I didn’t want in the article after I say it, just ask for it to be removed. I have seen this play out on TV more than once. “oh…Ya…off the record…”. Then only the stuff you wanted stricken from the interview is published. Thankfully there were only a couple episodes of ‘foot in mouth‘ and nothing all that bad, just not something I wanted printed for complete strangers to read.