Ten-year-old Truman Hamade is a reporter for Scholastic News, a news outlet for kids. In November, he interviewed veteran journalist Dan Rather. He talks with KUT education reporter Claire McInerny about the experience.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.
Claire McInerny: So, tell me, how did it go? What did you ask him?
Truman Hamade: When I got to the interview I was really nervous, and I was like – If I mess this up, people are going to be really angry with me. So, I wrote down some questions, but I didn’t want to look at them really because I wanted to be more professional looking to him. And I kind of messed up some of the questions, because I didn’t look at the notes I had.
Claire: What do you respect most about him after meeting him?
Truman: I just respect that he's so humble. He doesn’t use all those stories that he did, all those people he met, he doesn’t use it to brag. He uses it to strengthen his experience and not say, "I'm the best reporter out there."
Claire: He's been in the business for decades and you’re 10, so what do you think you have in common after you sat down with him?
Truman: We’re both striving to be our best, and we’re trying to get more experience and become not the best reporter but an experienced one.
Claire: What else happened during the interview that was interesting?
Truman: This big bird just came onto the balcony. I noticed it, but he was turned the other way so he didn't even see it. I just needed to keep my focus on the report, and that bird just came there to test me and see if I was strong enough to be a reporter.
Claire: Did he give you any good advice?
Truman: It was just a really inspirational experience for me, meeting someone who a lot of people knew when they were a kid. I just thought, "I'm in front of this really famous person and I just learned a lot from him." I wish I could relive the moment again.