Q & A with Shayna Rose from The Rose Reporter
She’s only 9 years old and already Shayna Rose has conducted interviews that could make any professional journalist – including this one – green with envy, from the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski to Celtic’s head coach Brad Stevens, actress Idina Menzel and Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. We caught up with this inquisitive third-grader from Southborough to hear all about the newsletter that’s getting national attention.
How did you get the idea to start The Rose Reporter, a newsletter for your school?
I didn’t really like playing outside at recess. All my friends played games I didn’t enjoy. So one day my mom said, “How about you start a book club?” But no one wanted to join and my teacher said she didn’t want me to read at recess since she wanted me to interact more. So then my mom said, “How about if you start a newspaper?” So I started interviewing the children in class and wrote about it. And it went from one page to five pages with big celebrities and big name people.
What did your friends think when you first started doing the newsletter?
They were very surprised! And they love reading it. Now the paper runs out in a day and I have to bring in more every day. I do a newsletter every Monday.
How do you come up with the topics that you ask your classmates?
We try to come up with very interesting questions that they can have fun with, and not just a yes or no question. A question that they can have a lot of creativity with and use their imaginations. And have very nice answers that are very fun.
From your first interview until now, what have you learned that makes a good journalist?
That you should try to write down everything they say and to have a response to their answer, not to just keep on asking questions. Saying something like, “I like that too,” or something to say back to them. You make them feel like you’re their friend.
You went to interviewing classmates to interviewing some pretty big personalities. Who was your first big interview?
Were you nervous?
No, I get more excited than nervous! I get more nervous for my math tests.
Who was your favorite interview?
Well, I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and I think that they are all very great. And they are all my favorite in their own way.
Aside from The Rose Reporter and your school work, what activities are you involved in?
I take piano, tennis, religious school. I like reading, math and writing. I’m trying to write an autobiography. I also really like doing arts and crafts.
Do you want to be a journalist when you get older?
No, I want to be a hedge fund manager. … I really like math. I really like New York and Wall Street and I really like what they do. They get to have a really fun job that I think would be very enjoyable.
How long to do you plan to continue The Rose Reporter?
I plan to do it until I’m out of school.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own school newsletter?
I would probably tell them to dedicate a lot of hard work to it, to persevere with interviews and to keep on trying, and to never give up.
Check out Shayna’s interviews on her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/therosereporter
Cheryl Crosby is senior editor of Boston Parents Paper.