My New Job's Activities So Far

Mood: So busy


I haven't written much here since I started working closely to my journalist employer. There have been just so many things to learn and I have been kept busy with all the news and interviews. However, I've quite enjoyed things so far. Monday to Friday I am usually busy with the news gathering which include the main countries in South East Asia. I find it quite OKAY since I still need to get used to some stuff like the names of the politicians in the Philippines and Thailand... but I suppose if I have to do this as my main job I'll be going crazy. Good thing, though, this is not going to be my main responsibility. What we need to do is to wait another assistant, Carol, to start working (possibly on the 29th this month), then I'll spend around 2 week-time training her to do what I'm doing now, and when she's fully able to work independently, I can start assisting Fabio (my employer) to write on the book project on post-tsunami issues in Aceh.

What I found most interesting part of the job so far is the interviews I have to make. Most of them are attempted on the phone. There will be series of frustration at first when I get stuck in contacting the people related to the news -- phone not connected, incorrect numbers, people not available to talk to etc), but when I eventually get connected to the person, I can expect a bunch of drama and excitement to follow.

My first phone interview was to Yusman Roy, an Islamic leader who was accused of blasphemy for campaigning a bilingual sholat (praying) -- that is to use Bahasa Indonesia, in addition of Arabic, in communicating with Allah.
It was quite a challenge to contact him. Both of his phone numbers were not active, and his mobile didn't seem to work anymore, either. So I ended up getting an info about him from one of his lawyers, who sounded eager to be interviewed by an Italian correspondent (at that time, ME), but who didn't seem to really work on Roy's case in filing the law suit to MUI for giving him a bad name and getting him imprisoned for 2 years.
The phone interview was short and not really productive. Nevertheless, it was my first call and I felt quite excited. link

Yusman Roy, Image from Indonesian Matters

Two weeks after I finished my training, Fabio handed me more interview jobs. So, my second by-phone interview was to one of the lawyers of the three Bali bombers. It was not very easy, either at first. Sometimes you've got to press them really hard to get a name of an authorized person to declare the matters and when you do finally talk to that person, you've got to have the "sense" of what your next questions will be. Playing with their emotion will be useful, too. (Now I understand why those celebrities and politicians don't like press. Hehe..)

The interview with the lawyer went pretty well. Fabo was quite happy with it and he started writing as soon as summarized it in a transcript. The next morning he showed me the published article and told me that that was my first contribution. I was quite proud.

Coming up shortly after that was my first live interview. We came to this place called "Adopta Co-op." It's an organization of 5 widows of the victims of the Bali Blast. It's located not far from Kuta and so Fabio and I rode on a motorbike to get there.
Wayan Rastini (own picture)

We managed to speak only to one of the women whose husband, a taxi driver, was killed on October 12th five years ago, when one of the bombs exploded in front of Sari Club (SC). I asked Wayan Rastini questions, some of which got her very emotional that she started to cry. I stopped scribbling my notes when she began telling me that there were only 5 little pieces of her husband's body that could be found. I touched her hand lightly and wished I didn't ask those questions (but I had to, of course). I changed my inquiries with lighter ones afterwards, and tried to joke a little about other things. Before we left the place, Fabio purchased two of their goods (2 lady bags) -- one for me, one for Inga (his fiance).

It was quite an experience.

The next day, exactly on 12 Oct 2007, we went to the bombing site and Fabio interviewed the foreigners and I the locals. Unfortunately it was not really productive on my side. There were no Indonesians around who were directly linked to the bombing event (at the time we were there, at least). So Fabio suggested me to interview the staff of the nearby stores instead. I did to four of them, two of who claimed that they would protest to the Indonesian government if they did release the bombers from the capital punishment.

I had a few more calls/interviews after that... and honestly, I have to say that this is the most interesting part of my job so far. Interviewing, that is. Collecting news of South East Asia countries could get pretty boring sometimes (and frustrating when the sites are down or when there's a blackout, or problems with computer etc.)

Now I'm thinking to do a personal interview to some random people, OR the people I know already, and get them featured on my blog.

Anyone has an interesting idea of whom? :)




  1. Interested in a Louvre Museum Attendant ? :)

  2. hehe... I'll leave that honourable job just for you, my dear. :)

  3. ME ME ME ME ME!!! INTERVIEW MEEEE!!! Hahaahahaha... dasar narcissist.

    Pingin juga lho diinterview dan ngerasain bilang "no comment!!!" atau "off the record ya..."


    La, you new job sounds interesting and fits you better lho. Kamu kan pressing dan firm gitu orangnya. Kalo aku disuruh nyari2 orang dan disuruh nginterview orang gitu isa mati be'e. Frustrasi duluan, hahahaha.

  4. wekk... kalo sudah tau kamu bakal bilang no comment, ngapain jg aku interview kamu. dasar! :D

    AM I pressing and firm???? Masa seh? Masa masa masa masa? Sounds scary. Hehehe.. but yeah, it's fun, alright. Yesterday I interviewed a lawyer of the human rights institution in Papua. It was hard to understand him!!! Different accent etc. Belum lagi koneksi telponnya jelek banget lagi. Duh.

  5. Hahaha percuma interview sheila, pasti cerita shopping :p

    Kamu gak ada rencana interview ibu muda cantik dan imut yang sekarang lagi tinggal di korea? hehehehe

    Good that you enjoy this new challenging job. Trus part time ngajarnya masih?

  6. Iya. Capek deh. Meliput Sheila sama dengan promosi toko2 baju dan aksesoris. :P
    Kayaknya interview kamu lebih menarik, Shier. Tp kulihat peserta yg lain ya. hahaha

    Ngajar di IALF udah mulai minggu lalu. Menyenangkan, tapi CAPEK BANGET! Tempatnya ga deket2 amat lagi. No wonder I always have to have parties at the weekends. Kalo ga gitu stress kerja mulu.

  7. Ehhh enak aja, interview aku bisa dapet insider tips on how to do shopping the great and marvelous way!!! Nggak ada promosi toko2-an, paling banter promosi diri sendiri, hahahahaha.

    Btw kamu mah party gara2 stress kerja itu alesan doang La, dari dulu kerja ngga stress juga tetep party kalo weekend, hayo??? Hahahahahahhahaha..