On Reporting, Working Parenthoood, and the Downside of Flexibility
This is not the newsletter I had planned for you today.
I’ve spent many hours this week doing research for today’s newsletter and yet I do not have a coherent essay to share with you today. As I’ve learned in my 17 years (omg how has it been that long?) as a science journalist, reporting is not a linear process. You can’t always pick a topic, do a few interviews, read some papers and be ready to write a story that does the issue justice.
Sometimes you do the first interview and your source says something titillating and that leads you to want to do a three more interviews, and then that fourth person says something you didn’t expect which leads you down yet another rabbit hole of interviews and papers…. and then you realize, yay, you have a much more compelling story than you thought you did, but not yay, you are going to blow right through your deadline. This is why big stories (like this one) sometimes take years of work before they see the light of day.
All of this week I have been working on a piece for you about extracurriculars. More specifically, about the the impact of “over-scheduling” kids, and on deciphering the difference between healthy scheduling and over-scheduling.