Jansing is a daytime anchor on MSNBC as well as a correspondent for MSNBC and NBC News. She joined NBC News in June 1998. She covered the terrorist attacks on September 11 as the events unfolded. She also reported live from Jerusalem for MSNBC on the Pope's March 2000 pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and she extensively covered the 2000 Presidential Election from Tallahassee, Florida, also for MSNBC.
Jansing: The best thingalwaysis to be prepared, which means you do your homework. You do your research. So if you come to talk to Wesley Clark, you read everything there is to read about Wesley Clark. You think about the kinds of questions you want to ask for the people who will either be reading your stories or reading you online. What would they want to know about Wesley Clark?
What you want to do is what we call "serve your audience." Give them the information that they want. To do the best possible interview, you want know what's going on. When you're going out to do the candidates, you should read as much as you can about them.
The other thing, I think, is to just take a deep breath. Try not to be too nervous. Realize that everybody is a person, whether it's an important person or somebody who wants to be President. Treat them like you would want to be treated. Try not to get too nervous. Sometimes I still get nervous and I've been doing this a really long time, but I try not to get nervous.
Also, know your audienceyour audience is fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-gradersyou have to look at what is specific to that audience. What they would be interested in hearing about would be different maybe than what I would be interested in hearing about or a senior citizen might be interested in hearing about. Always know your audience and who's going to be reading what you're writing.