This past week, a journalist named Larissa Macfarquhar from the renowned magazine, The New Yorker, gave a lecture to the journalism class at Woodside High School.
Larissa has worked at The New Yorker since 1998, filling her position as a staff writer ever since. She has conducted interviews with all types of people, giving her great insight on how to get an interviewee to approach an intriguing answer. Among some of her most famous interviewees include Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States. Her most recent work discusses how former convicts who were previously in jail are now attending prominent universities like UC Berkeley.
Although Macfarquhar writes in a style that is different from the Woodside World’s day to day news, she did have a plethora of helpful tips for the young journalists at Woodside High School.
“I got into journalism like many of the rest of you because I used to like to write, and I was at first attracted to fiction, but then became more attracted to non fiction writing because of the meeting people, “ Macfarquhar started.
Focusing on the social aspect of journalism, Macfarquhar gave reasons why being a journalist is such an entertaining job.
“It’s an incredibly fun profession, you don’t have to stay in one narrow specialty as you do in some jobs,” said Macfarquhar. “But also you have the freedom to ask people all kinds of probing questions that you might be too shy to ask in many social situations”.
Students who were interested in the writing process that professional journalist use asked Macfarquhar how she got into writing the article about the ex convicts now thriving in universities.
“I had been living in this area for six months and I had been looking on the UC berkeley website and they had mention of one of these people who had been reading shakespeare in prison and how it sustained him and how after he had been paroled he made it to UC Berkeley, and I wanted to know he had done it,” Macfarquhar claimed.