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Interviews Lecture

by: Autumn

Interviews Lecture JN 311


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About this Document

Gathering information, who to interview, how to interview, general interview tips
News Writing and Reporting
Jennifer Elizabeth Hoewe/Brett Sherrick
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Autumn on Thursday July 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to JN 311 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Jennifer Elizabeth Hoewe/Brett Sherrick in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see News Writing and Reporting in Journalism & Communication at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.

Popular in Journalism & Communication


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Date Created: 07/28/16
• Gathering Information ◦ Information in news stories is gathered through sources. Some of these sources are people. ◦ Journalists regularly interview people to get information. Some interviews will be easier than others. ◦ How can interviewing skills help non-journalists? ◦ Even if you’re not planning to become a journalist, interviewing skills help you better understand how to communicate with people. Learning how to interview helps develop conversational skills. • Who to interview ◦ Often, journalists interview sources who have some direct experience with the topic of the story. These individuals could be experts on the topic. These individuals could be those involved in the topic. ◦ These interviews, of course, are not random Thus, the journalist must schedule a time and place to interview the source. ◦ Journalists find sources through research and previously known information. For example, if you’re writing a news story, ◦ Some journalists work on particular beats (sports, cops and courts, arts and entertainment, etc.) Beat reporters often establish a rapport with a particular few sources who offer good information about the topic. Ex. a cops reporter would develop a relationship with the local police in hopes of getting information from them. • How to interview ◦ Some sources will require journalists to make appointments to interview them. Appointments Over the phone Email Be considerate of the source’s preferences. ◦ When requesting to interview someone, you must identify yourself as a reporter. It would violate journalistic ethical principles if you did not. Introduce yourself by name. Say you’re a reporter. Identify your publication (or class, in this case). Briefly explain why you’ve contacted this person. Why they’re important to the story. Dress appropriately Be on time! ◦ Ask good questions! A journalist can’t get good answers unless he asks good questions! ◦ Prepare questions ahead of time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions that pop up during the interview. Have a list of questions to ask during the interview. Start with easier questions in order to develop a rapport and get the interviewee comfortable. Get them talking to develop a relationship or deal with someone who has dealt with trauma. 1. Name? (spelling) 2. Age? 3. Source’s work and title? 4. Other descriptive information about the source? More experienced interviewees can begin with more descriptive questions Public officials, celebrities, etc. ◦ Think about when to ask closed-ended (yes or no) or open-ended questions. Open-ended questions are usually better, but you should leave a little room for closed-ended questions. Start with a closed-ended question to lead into an open- ended question. ◦ Try not to put words into a source’s mouth. Allow your source to divulge the information. It’s OK to encourage their disclosure, but don’t set them up to answer in a particular way. ex. Why do you think UA is the best university in the world? Better: How do you feel about UA? ◦ Give your source time to respond to your questions. ◦ Give your source time to add anything he or she may find important. During the Interview: • Take very detailed notes. ◦ Never, ever, misquote a source. ◦ develop a shorthand method to keep up with their sources’ verbal responses. • Some journalists record their interviews ◦ This is fine, but the journalist must ask the source’s permission to record the interview before the interview starts. ◦ Some sources get intimidated by a recording device, so be careful. ◦ Even if you record, take notes to remind yourself of the most important parts of the interview. Without having to listen to the entire recording and transcribe it. General Interview Tips • The more prepared you are, the better the interview will go. ◦ Write down questions ahead of time. • The more practicing, the better you’ll get. ◦ you’ll develop your own style to encourage sources to share info with you • In-person interviews are the most successful type of interview. ◦ Email interviews are not allowed in this class. • Finish an interview by asking a source what you should know about them. ◦ What did they want to tell you that you didn’t ask? ◦ What did they expect you to ask them? What did they think you missed?


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