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Chapter 9
 

HOW DO YOU CONDUCT AN INTERVIEW?

 

Examples

Exercises

 

INTERVIEWING TIPS

 

Take a moment to read this tutorial on good interviewing practices  from the Journalist's Resource (at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy). 

 

David Poulson at the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism has a good list of tips for interviewing.

 

PBS News Hour's Margaret Warner says she starts preparing for an interview by checking secondary sources like the BBC, the Christian Science Monitor and The New York Times.  But that's just the beginning: Then she checks primary sources, like the Supreme Court briefs for a legal case, or interviews with experts if she's heading to another country to report (from the Journalist's Resource).

 

Do you need to conduct interviews for an investigation? Here are some good tips for interviews that often take more thought and preparation (from Exposé: America's Investigative Reports, produced by the Center for Inestigative Reporting and Thirteen/WNET New York).

 

Children are vulnerable interview subjects, and that means journalists need to take pains to be fair when interviewing them. Here are some helpful tips and guidelines from the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.

 

Watch this video about how to video a formal interview (from the International Journalist's Network).

 

 

INVASION OF PRIVACY

 

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press provides a good overview of invasion of privacy, including intrusion and private facts.

 

Here's a good discussion about publication of private facts from the Digital Media Law Project. (DMLP is hosted by Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society).

 

 

RECORDING  INTERVIEWS

 

States differ about sources' rights to know if you're recording them, but here's an overview about the laws governing recording interviews (from the Journalist's Resource).

 

 

ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT

 

This law, passed in 1986, mainly deals with communications over the telephone or Internet. So, for instance, this is the law that says it's illegal to hack someone's cell phone.

 

For some basics, read the information at this site from the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

 

Featured

Katie Couric on Interviewing

Couric offers a wide range of insights here. Listen also to the questions the interviewer asks her and the narrative arc of his question list.

"Radio Does This Amazing Thing"

Joe Richman of "Radio Diaries" says journalists should let surprises happen in an interview.  In fact, Richman says, one of the joys of interviewing is talking to someone who seems like cliché and being surprised by that source's answers.

Larry King on What Makes a Good Interview

King talks about successful—and unsuccessful—interviewers. 

Know Your Rights

This video from the Student Press Law Center shows a student reporter politely refusing to leave when a police officer demands that he does so.  The reporter, who obviously knows his rights, keeps his cool even as the officer repeatedly tells him to stop filming,