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Good Luck Helped Indonesian Reporter Get Her Story - 2002-08-28

A VOA Snapshot - Part of VOA's 60th Anniversary Year Coverage

In broadcast journalism, we try to capture the actual sounds and voices of events as they occur. Sometimes, great skill is required. Other times, it's a little work and a lot of luck that put a reporter in the right place at the right time.

"I was very nervous because I knew how important the ceremony was and how many really important people were attending," said Tari Gregory of VOA's Indonesia Service, recalling her first big assignment in New York as a nervous young reporter in 1993.

The Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights was presenting an award to the Indonesian Legal Aid Society, with many celebrities attending the ceremony.

"The problem was how to record the voices of the speakers at the event. I was too afraid and too shy to push my microphone in their faces," she recalled.

Ms. Gregory arrived early to get a spot near the front of the room. Then luck took over.

"I was standing right next to the chairman of the board, readying myself to push my microphone in front of his mouth when, lo and behold, he saw the mike, grabbed it from me and started to talk, opening the ceremonies and welcoming the guests," she explained. "Not only that, but after he finished speaking, he gave the microphone to the next speaker so it went from one speaker to another."

As it turned out, Ms. Gregory's microphone was the only one in view and although it wasn't connected to any sound system, all of the people on the podium spoke into it. The young reporter got the story, and the sound, and filed a comprehensive report for the VOA audience in Indonesia.

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