This is both hilarious and seriously great advice.
During a recent talk at Yale University’s Branford College, New Yorker editor in chief David Remnick recalled how he once took a position as a Washington Post sports reporter without a great amount of subject matter expertise in that area. Which, per a report in the Yale Daily News, allowed him to then share this exhortation:
“My best advice to young reporters would be: anytime someone in the business asks you, ‘Do you know anything about [any topic]…?’— whatever it is, your answer should be, ‘Absolutely!’” Remnick said, eliciting laughter from the audience.
Actors in Hollywood often talk about that same sort of approach to their job. E.g., if a casting director asks if they can ride horseback, for example, the answer is-was-always will be, “Yes!” The key of course, in both the reporter and performer’s case, is to have the wherewithal to then quickly close the gap.
As part of the campus visit, Remnick also critiqued published articles submitted by the editors of a number of Yale publications. Read the rest of student reporter Maya Chandra’s article here.