Oprah Winfrey is known for her ability to get convince of the most desired and popular newsmakers to come onto her show for interviews, especially authors whom she chooses for her 'Book of the Month' club. As such it was a surprise to many aspiring tv hosts who want to follow in the footsteps of Oprah Winfrey that she actually seemed relieved at not being able to convince Harper Lee, the reclusive author of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Watchman", to come onto her show to be interviewed but this is an aspect of Oprah Winfrey's journalistic skills that helps distinguish her from other tv hosts (The Guardian - July 11).
A less experienced and savvy tv host/journalist might have continued their attempt to persuade the celebrated author for an interview, something that would likely have not only angered her but impacted the journalist's reputation as someone not able to accept 'no' for an answer.
There is an 'art' to being able to convince newsmakers to talk about themselves on television and there is also some dividends that experience and subtlety provide a tv host/reporter such as not taking rejection personally.
Oprah Wnfrey's acceptance of being rejected by Harper Lee has likely endeared her to many entertainment fans who too often are subjected to watching people show up for interviews looking like they would rather be receiving a root canal with no anesthesia than sit for an interview.
If the legendary Oprah Winfrey can accept receiving 'no' from a person for a tv interview than other tv hosts/journalists should be able to accept such an answer but also be motivated to find other ways to get a potential interview subject to talk to them. One of the interesting aspects of the Oprah Winfrey interview pursuit of Harper Lee was that she did get to talk with her just not on television, an overlooked but very important aspect of the tv host's pursuit of this renowned author.
Oprah Winfrey provided a lesson in journalism by her accepting and honouring the 'no' interview response from Harper Lee that has likely 'raised the bar' for tv journalists following in her footsteps. Leave it to Oprah Winfrey to emerge from a situation as a winner even when from the initial assessment one might think she had lost.