Meeting different people and ask them whatever I want is the best part of my job as a journalist.
Even though it's volunteerwork for an ages-old paper it's rewarding. Not in money, but in knowledge and in things I can do for others.
People love to share their experiences and when they meet someone who is really interested, their enthousiasm knows no boundaries.
A while ago I had to interview a firefighter at his workplace about a huge fire that caught the attention of all the papers in the area.
I was the last one in a long line, and I think I was not taken very seriously because we don't have a huge amount of paying readers.
At first he was surprised by my age.
He expeceted some young girl, not a woman in het fifties.
So his attitude changed from aloof into polite.
We talked a bit and then I said that I'd never been at a fire-station.
He jumped up to give me the tour.
"People always want to make photo's here", he said beside a fire engine.
I told him I had quite a few of those, but in a real life situation when they were discussing how to tackle a fire beside the just arrived engine.
I would rather have him stand in front of the pile of fire hose fittings.
So he made himself nice and stood there. I took a photo and he showed me some more things they worked with.
After the photo was published I got a mail.
He was surprised by the picturem but also very grateful.
I knew his father was a fire fighter too. He was injured during a large fire elsewhere and he had to stop working. To honor him they had his photo on the wall at the equipment area and I was able to catch his photo on the photograph of his son.
Knowing his mother and their story I was able to give a lot more extra than all those other journalists. Thàt's what drives me.