Painting a Picture. . .When You Aren’t an Artist – Sabrina

As I am preparing for my interviews by writing and formulating questions, I am beginning to look at the picture I want to paint.

Someone once told me that prepping for an interview tells half of the story, but what story do I want to tell? How can I tell it truthfully and not manipulate it while also showing the details and tones I want the world to see?

I am beginning to realize this is the eternal struggle of a journalist: to tell the story, completely and truthfully, but also be able to show and highlight the side of the story the world needs to hear.


Doing oral history cover.jpg

Doing Oral History, by Donald Ritchie, has also helped guide me both in preparing and conducting interviews, as well as the legal and technical aspects


I am beginning to paint the picture of the story I want to tell, but I am not a painter. I am not a journalist. . .but I am learning.

I am learning how to be a journalist and how to paint my picture through asking the right and wrong questions.

I interviewed members of the Westtown Robotics team for The Brown and White (the Westtown student-run newspaper), and I began to experience the art of journalism or as I call it, the art of asking questions.

I learned which questions got me to show certain sides of the story, which questions can become too invasive it is more awkward than it sounds…a lot more awkward, and which questions get me to a dead end.

I am learning how to paint my picture. I am learning to paint in watercolors and acrylics and I am learning which techniques get me places and which techniques get me nowhere.

It is a process which can be…a lot…but I have not anything that makes me feel as happy which is amazing, but oh god it is terrifying that I love journalism and this project so much.

Inspired by a lot of metaphors questions and answers,

Sabrina Schoenborn

Founder of The Girl Narrative

Image Citations:

Ritchie, Donald. Doing Oral History Cover.

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