Headshot of Jess Estepa with The Writing Process logo

01:01: USA Today Journalist Jess Estepa

In the pilot episode of my new weekly podcast The Writing Process, I speak with my dear friend Jess Estepa. She’s a national politics reporter for USA Today.

She also was the first person I called when I wanted to figure out what exactly I wanted to accomplish with this idea of mine. I knew I wanted to capture real lessons on writing from lots of different forms, but I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. Jess patiently let me sort that out.

In this first-ever episode, among the topics, we cover the following:

  • Journalism is a structured writing form that teaches speed and learning by doing.
  • To capture source notes, there are those who curate on spot and those, like Jess, who capture nearly everything during interviews to sort out later.
  • Even a serious politics reporter can find something valuable in lighter fare — like turkeys.

Given that this was my very first interview from way back in January, you’re going to find slightly different forms in future episodes. But Jess is thoughtful enough that her insights broke through my clumsiness in this first go-around.

For my fellow journalism nerds, you can find a bit more of our interview, where we dove more deeply into the journalism stuff here.