Day 134: Interview a celebrity

January 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

Credit IMDB

The above movie poster is from an HBO original film that came out last year starring Claire Danes. She won an Emmy for her portrayal of Temple Grandin, a doctor of animal science, author and animal behavior consultant to the livestock industry who has high functioning autism. No, I did not interview Claire Danes…but I DID interview Temple Grandin.

One of my reporting professors likes to constantly recommend that you contact random celebrities for our story. When a friend of mine was doing a story on biofuel, the professor said, “You know, you should talk to Willie Nelson about that. I think his tour bus runs on biofuel.”

Therefore, when he suggested I contact Dr. Grandin about an article I’m writing, I was a bit skeptical. Dr. Grandin has become a pretty big name – she got a lot of publicity after the HBO film came out, and received a standing ovation at the Emmy Awards. The article I’m writing is about cattle lameness prevention technology (lameness meaning injuries in the feet of cows that cause them to degenerate, not cows that go to bed early and never attend parties). Dr. Grandin is a professor at Colorado State University, so I figured I’d go through the normal process I’d take to find an expert’s contact information and look through CSU’s online directory.

It turns out she has a phone number listed. Her receptionist took my call, I told her about the article I’m writing, and two hours later I was on the phone with Temple Grandin.

She gave me some great quotes, and I think simply having her comment will increase reader interest in the article. It was pretty exciting, and just goes to show that you should never assume a source is unreachable.

Today Temple Grandin, tomorrow Barack Obama.


§ 2 Responses to Day 134: Interview a celebrity

  • Carol Lockwood says:

    Tyler, I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts – really, I laugh out loud! Are you sure you want to be a serious journalist? I see you more as the Joel Stein type. Keep up the good work. Best to you and Stephanie.

    • Tyler Moss says:

      Carol, glad to hear you are enjoying my posts! To be honest, I would love an opportunity to professionally integrate comedy into my writing! Hope all is well in Salt Lake – I hope it isn’t as cold as chicago

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