Curiosity is “the force that compels us to venture out of our comfort zone into unfamiliar territory filled with uncertainty and risks,” said bullet journal creator Ryder Carroll.
We interviewed two women journalists to find out what role curiosity plays in their work. Anne Murphy has been writing stories since the 1970s. KaMaria Braye is a 30-year-old TV reporter. For both, curiosity is very much part of their journalistic craft. It allows them to discover and go deeper into a story and elevate it.
Tell us about yourself. What role has curiosity played in your life?
Anne: It was both a curiosity and a love of writing that led me to pursue a degree in journalism at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the 1970s. In my early career, I wrote for the “Journal-Sentinel” in Milwaukee, was a writer and editor with “McCall’s” magazine in New York City and editor with The Society of Professional Journalists. As the mother of four daughters who are now adults, I spent years freelancing. Today, I write the “Your Style” column for the Rochester “Post Bulletin.”
KaMaria: I was born and raised in Minneapolis. I did my undergrad in print and radio journalism at a historically Black college and university—Lincoln University of Missouri. This gave me a boost, realizing the potential I do have. I knew I wanted to be a TV journalist. So, I did my master’s in broadcast journalism at the University of Missouri–Columbia. I now work as a reporter for KTTC-TV.
What drives your curiosity?
Anne: To be curious is to be inquisitive and to be inspired to always look deeply and to ask a little more. I write about both what is at the heart of people and events, as well as the truth that makes society a better place.
KaMaria: It is about finding out why this person is compelling and bringing that aspect out. Compelling characters are powerful people who deserve to be showcased because they are having a positive impact on the community.
What drives you to find stories?
Anne: In my earlier career, I was most often assigned stories. Almost from the beginning, I discovered that the best stories were those approached with the idea that there are always things to be learned about a person.
KaMaria: I use social media to find compelling people. It is important to listen and hear other people’s voices, to make them comfortable, as it can be intimidating to speak in front of a mic and camera.
How does curiosity in your life influence your stories?
Anne: For my “Your Style” column, I am always watching for someone around Rochester whose style I see looks to have an interesting story underlying.
KaMaria: I try to put myself in other people’s shoes as well. I’ve done stories on
farmers. I don’t know much about farming, but it is about being unbiased, looking at perspectives even if the experience had never been shared before.
Have you ever worked on a seemingly boring story but pushed through it and discovered something else?
Anne: I have to say I have never viewed a story as potentially boring. Perhaps I
did when a young journalist, but I have been fortunate to think there is always a value that I will find.
KaMaria: I try not to consider any story boring. If it has any impact on anyone, it is an important story to tell. I pay attention to every detail, every movement, and I listen. I try to think about what the bigger picture is in the story.