Undertaking this Emotional History assignment has given me an insight into radio journalism and has taught me several lessons when conducting an interview.
On paper, I didn’t find this assignment interesting. However, it was when I started to plan for it and do it that I found myself really enjoying it. To go out and actually be practical is so much more satisfying at the end of the day. I discovered that after conducting my interview earlier this week. This Emotional History assignment also taught me how verbal communication can really create a strong, emotional impact on an audience. The tone, the language used and the pauses in a person’s dialogue can really create just as much impact on a listener than an image can for a viewer.
There were several barriers I had to overcome while interviewing my Baba (grandmother). As she is reaching towards an elderly stage in her life, her memory has started to fade. Although she remembers everything about her past, which is what I interviewed her about, she has trouble concentrating and telling a story in sequence. Lucky enough, I was able to fill in the gaps with information provided by my mother. Another concern for me was my Baba’s language barrier, which isn’t a problem for me as I understand her, but for future listeners. To avoid the confusion, I included some brackets in my interview transcript, stating what she means for future listeners who have trouble understanding her. My last issue concerning this assignment was, and I’m sure like most others, the cutting down process. From 20 minutes to two minutes, I struggled to determine what parts of the interview were stronger than others. My Baba speaks very slow, so deleting her long, silent pauses was easy, however it was making her sound like she wasn’t speaking without a breath a problem. I resolved this issue by adding fade ins/outs to make the transitions smoother.
Lessons I learnt from this assignment were to do with interviewing. Even though I have previously done Journalism subjects before which stress the importance of interviewing techniques, this assignment was a good reminder of how important those techniques are. As most students like myself already hate the sound of their own voice on tape, its better to speak clearly and avoid “ums” and “ahs” when recording to sound more clear and professional. It is also important not to interrupt the interviewee out of courtesy, even if what they’re discussing is irrelevant. And finally, the most significant interviewing tip I believe is, to be prepared and write out a set of questions before any interview. This way, you can ensure yourself that you asked the right questions to get the right answers for your work.
If I had the chance to approach this assignment differently, I would most defiantly take into more consideration proper time management. I can see the potential in my work and with proper time management, I could of been able to achieve a better result.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this assignment and look forward to completing this Journalistic subject. I am hoping to apply my learnt skills from this assignment into my future work and achieve higher than average results.
To listen to the interview, click here
To view the transcript of the interview, click on the link below
Full Background Story –
My Baba, Simica Glavan, was born in 1935 in communist Yugoslavia. The Independence of Croatia was declared in 1991, the same year the Croatian War of Independence against Serbia began. However, both these events happened long after Simica had fled the country.
Simica, being the youngest of five, was born into a strict, Catholic family. During this time in Yugoslavia there was little employment, and education any further than second grade was a luxury. Simica worked on her family’s farm alongside her father while her mother performed domestic duties. They raised pigs, chickens, goats and lambs and grew vegetable gardens and grape vines. The only income they ever earned was from the sale of grapes for wine making, sold in the town market.
This became Simica’s daily routine for years. Living in a poor economic country at the time, Simica was lucky enough to wear the rags she had as clothes.
At the tender age of 21, Simica longed for a better future and proposed the idea of leaving to her family. Leaving Croatia was not an option as escaping from the country was illegal. Her brothers and sisters and father forbid the idea. So, without saying goodbye, Simica escaped with her boyfriend, Vinko, in the dark of the night. They jumped into rowboats and sailed across the Adriatic Sea. Eventually, they successfully arrived in Bari, a coastal region in Italy.
After 12 months living and working in Bari, Simica and Vinko were given the option to travel to Australia under the Migration program of the 1950s. They sailed by ocean liner from Italy to Australia in 6 weeks. There, Simica and Vinko were separated into gender segments because they had no children together.
Since arriving in Australia and making a life of her own, Simica has never heard from her family. Although she appears to be proud of her background and previous life, she refuses to travel back. Luckily for her, she has her daughters and grand daughters to relive her eventful past. Simica, Anne, or Baba, is a woman of many qualities. She is brave, courageous, kind, loving and humorous. From leaving one family behind, she made her own on the opposite side of the world. Her generous nature is infectious and her story is one to be told for many more years to come.