"You can't teach talent, which you need a modicum of, but you can teach accuracy, discipline, and the ability to marshal enormous amounts of research material and start shitting out bite-sized chunks. The talent to be able to spot, and elicit, that "money" quote.
"The stuff I really love is indirect quotes, where the journalist has involved himself so much in the issue that he can write it the whole way through and every so often he'll have a half-sentence quote, just something that sounds really fucking cool, something really colourful.
"He'll just tell the story, as opposed to the daily news style, where you have A saying this and B saying this. This is the journalist saying 'I know this subject and this is the way I see it'. If they're good, they'll be able to get across the balance of the story and a few of the nuances inside the issue, and they won't be a slave to transcribing. I hate that shit."
From a profile of none other than myself in my old student magazine Salient, that came out a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, my head grows with each passing moment.