WJI 2016 Blog - Day Eleven - Plunging Right in

May 26, 2016

Becca Robb

Taylor University

Confession: I dread phone calls. I’m that person who lets calls go to voicemail because talking over the phone leeches so much energy.

Today, Editor-in-Chief Marvin Olasky assigned us to investigate a story. Our research included making phone calls—lots of them. Great.

I gathered my laptop, phone, and headphones and found an empty office down the hall. After clicking the door shut, I plopped down at a round, wooden desk and stared at the phone number on my screen.

“Ehhh. I so don’t want to do this,” my inner monologue groaned. “What if I sound dumb?”


And then I realized—I’m a journalist. Thirty percent of my job is interviewing strangers over the phone.

I pursed my lips and tapped the green “call” icon. My fingers froze around the rubber phone case as worst-case scenarios populated my head.

After three long beeps, the dial tone gave way to a woman’s voice: “Hello, this is Charlotte. How can I help you?”

I smiled with a forced confidence (my dad always told me to smile, even if people can’t see you) and replied: “Hi, I’m Becca Robb with the World Journalism Institute. I’m writing an article about…”

Once we started talking, it wasn’t terrifying. She was just a person, and we were just having a conversation.

You may have had a similar problem if you’ve ever gone to the pool: You want to swim in the water, but you don’t want to get in the pool. In this case, I just needed to plunge straight into the deep end.


And maybe that’s the best way to learn—plunging right in.

For more information:

World Journalism Institute