Sifting Through Statements

This morning, I attended a news conference held by the University of Missouri System president to reflect on his first year in office. This wasn’t a typical news conference (you know, the ones you see on TV with dozens of flashing cameras and reporters shoving microphones in sources’ faces) — I was one of several reporters who calmly sat at an oval table and asked the president questions sans microphone.

Documents and prepared statements contain a lot of jargon. A reporter’s job is to sift through jargon to get to the basic meaning of each statement and then express that to the public.

I like details. I think word choice is almost an art in that it’s incredibly important and telling. I was always that kid who came to a conclusion and then had to backtrack because three steps in my explanation weren’t as evident as I thought. As a result, summarization has never really been my thing. (Just ask my friends who kindly listen to my detail-filled accounts of daily events.)

But, you know, it’s something I’m working on. I’m here to learn, right?

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