2 Interview process Story idea Plan & Prepare Look & Listen Review & Reorder
3 Step 1: Plan & Prepare Background research Draft questions Questions you think your reader would want to know the answer toOpen-ended questions, not yes/no questionsQuestions about hobbies, family, soft topics
4 Step 2: Look & Listen Each answer will suggest additional questions Listen not just to what your interviewee says, but how he/she says itContradictions, hesitation, silence, nervousness, roving eyes all suggest need for follow-upLook around you! And note it down.Take good notes, but stay focused on interviewee
5 Step 3: Review & ReorderReview your notes to ensure you have complete quotesReorder and prioritize the quotesReview the audio tape, if availableUse “time stamps” in your notes
6 Interview strategyMost people love to talk about themselves, or things they care about (hobbies, politics, their children)Use these topics to open up interviewsMany people mistrust or are afraid of reportersBe polite, respectful & professional – show them you’re a decent human being!
7 Ask open-ended Qs How did you feel when...? Why did you decide to...? What was it like to...?Were you happy when...?Do you think you made the right choice?When did you stop beating your wife?
8 Interview strategy – 2Keep interviews conversational - it’s an interview, not an interrogationYou have to gain someone’s trust before you can gain their informationAsk your question and then wait patientlySilence can be a good way to get people to talk!Always ask: “Can you give me an example of that?”Always ask: “Is there someone else I should speak to?
9 Mencher’s 12 Interview Ground Rules Identify yourself at the beginningState the purpose of the interviewMake sure the source knows how the information will be usedTell the source how long the interview will takeKeep it as short as possibleAsk specific questions that the source is competent to answerSOURCE: MELVIN MENCHER’S NEWS REPORTING & WRITING, 7TH EDITION
10 Mencher’s 12 Interview Ground Rules Give the source time to replyAsk the source to clarify complex or vague answersRead back answers if requested or when in doubt of the phrasingInsist on answers if the public has a right to know themAvoid lecturing and arguingAbide by non-attribution requests
11 Quoting Use quotes that are full sentences and complete thoughts Partial quotes can be open to misinterpretation and misunderstandingYour sources are the experts, so let their words do the talkingEvery quote must be attributed to a specific person
12 Using quotes in stories If a word or phrase is in quotation marks, it must be something someone said exactly as they said itQuotes can be split if they consist of more than one sentence“It was a Monday,” he said. “I remember it well.”Start a new paragraph for a new quote
13 Brackets & Ellipses Use brackets to mark [paraphrases] inside quotes Use an ellipsis to show where you have ... cut words from inside a quoteUse both sparinglyCEO of the Recording Academy Neil Portnow addressed the issue of stars being left out backstage at the awards show Sunday, saying that the "In Memoriam segment is a conundrum.” "It's sad, we keep a list," Portnow went on. "This year over 200 people [have passed] so we have to make a selection at the end."After Japan are the fragile European countries that are in very dire straits: Greece, Ireland and Portugal ... Spain and Italy, too, but their problems are of a different order," Ghezzi said.
14 Set up your quotesSome quotes, or the perspective of speakers, need to be explained to the reader in advanceThink about what information your reader will need in order to understand the quoteWho or what does it refer to?Definition of any new or unusual words?Context?
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