PDF Interviewing: A guide for journalists and writers

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In the second edition of this widely used guide, experienced journalist Gail Sedorkin shows you step by step how to manage the interview process. She explains how to prepare, and what to do when you don't have time to do any research. She outlines the difference between 'soft' and 'hard' interviews, how to use digital tools effectively, and how to make the most of any interview situation.

With tips and examples from leading journalists, and covering basic to advanced techniques, Interviewing is an essential guide for journalists, researchers and writers. Seller Inventory AAS Brand New. Yet too few journalists have ever received education or training in this critical skill. Petersburg, complained in a blog post. For most journalists the only way to learn is on the job, mostly through painful trial and error. How do you walk up to strangers and ask them questions?

Writers and Editors

How do you use quotes effectively in your stories? If you want to flop as an interviewer, fail to prepare.

Journalism and journalists

All too often, journalists start an interview armed only with a handful of question scribbled in their notebooks. Liebling, a legendary writer for The New Yorker, landed an interview with notoriously tight-lipped jockey Willie Shoemaker. He opened with a single question: Why do you ride with one stirrup higher than the other? The best questions are open-ended. Closed-ended questions are more limited but they have an important purpose. Closed-ended questions put people on the record.

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The worst are conversation stoppers, such as double-barreled even tripled-barreled questions. Did you give the order? Craft questions in advance to ensure you ask ones that start conversations rather than halt them in their tracks. Stick to the script, and always ask one question at a time.

How to: prepare for a journalism job interview

Prepare a list of questions that will guide your subject through the interview. In doing so, keep these ideas in mind: 1. Do not ask yes or no questions. If you do, follow these questions by a statement that asks your subject to explain why or elaborate.

Freelance Journalist? Use These Tips to Get Juicy Interview Details

Otherwise, you might leave with little or no quotable material. Use the background information you gathered to form your questions. If you can reference details about their childhood, education or previous occupational experience, do so. This may inspire discussion on interesting topics.

Always plan to ask your subject if they have anything to add , or if they expected you to ask a specific question.


They may be able to introduce you to a new angle or topic in your reporting. Always ask your subject if there is anyone else you should talk to. This interview might provide you with new contacts and a new direction in your research. Conducting an Interview. Conducting an interview can be stressful, even for the best journalists, but it is important to conduct an interview correctly.

To help make your interview go smoothly, here are some guidelines you can follow:. Name as he or she would like it to appear.