To get an interview with somebody is not always easy
The editor gave me the task on Monday 7th and the deadline was on Friday 18th.
I should write, or paint in words, a portrait of people who came to Denmark as asylum seekers and then got positive (granted asylum and a permit to stay in Denmark) and who now live successful lives.
The aim was to counteract the usually bad picture of asylum seekers drawn by the press and other media. For example, for the last two months the asylum stories have been about the police and some criminal asylum seekers.
I had four people in mind for this task.Three, I have met around Copenhagen; they were all asylum seekers before my time. The four are from very different backgrounds and different professions; one is a female doctor, one is a bicycle repairs shop owner, one is a grocery shop owner and the last one is a cook in an asylum centre.
It was not easy for me to get to the centre that is placed two hours drive away from Sandholm, the busses are few and far between, I am an old man so I am not able to walk long distances. I can not be totally flexible about when to make an interview because I have to report to the police twice a week.
I was only successful in meeting the cook. The other three were too busy and not available in the limited time. The cook had been in the same English class as me about four years ago. He promised to give the interview if his boss gave permission, and we agreed to make the interview on Monday 14th.
Ready, steady, ggggg…..
The questions for the interview were prepared, but when I saw the cook the next time – which wasn’t Monday, it was a day after – he said that he hadn’t talked to his boss yet, but he would do it and the interview should be done on Friday. The day of the deadline. But that Friday he simply didn’t show up.
A journalist can sometimes struggle hard to get his story, and I look forward to making all four interviews sometime soon.