One of the largest joys of my kind of journalism is that I can describe the world of humans without ever talking to a politician or a civil servant. There is no need for me to build up a method to handle spin and PR tactics, nor is there a need for me to maintain a large network of professional hacks.
I talk to one person in depth, and then place that person within what is happening in the world, and that contrast informs the world about something. It’s great stuff, and very satisfying.
Whether it is about the story of one piano tuner out of step with the music industry as he drives his car from piano to piano, or about a local hero of Syria who tries to build a new life in Sweden after fleeing that country, the detail of one life explain that big picture. The whole is illustrated by the detail.
This is the kind of journalism that I had a very hazy idea about as I started, back when I was more worried about the ethics of a PR employee getting back into journalism. Over time it crystallises. Over time, it becomes clearer.
The gradual refinement of the process lands me in a process where I don’t talk to leaders, politicians, captains of industry, or the apex predators of the stage and the set. And it’s good.
The world can be explained by examining the details that make it up. History can be illustrated with looking at how the square pegs grind against the round holes of it. The least of us can underline the big picture.
And as that becomes clearer, I want to do more of it. I want to do it more ambitiously. Watch this space, because I have a cunning plan. I’ll tell you all about it over the coming days.