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Monday evening we looked at how to conduct interviews. Mostly the facts were self-evident but there were important tidbits of advice that may come in handy for the future.

 

Interviewing

Question 1 – Why do we do interviews?

We want quotes.

Question 2 – Why do we need quotes?

Provide fact in thenewsmakers own words

To absolve the journalist from an endorsement

Asking questions

– Research before you interview

You’ve never got enough time to do interviews. You’ll only have 10 minutes with them so you will need to know everything about them or what they are promoting.

 – Ask questions with a focus

People will measure you and what you know by the way that you ask a question, if you ask a question that’s very general and simplistic, they will give you a simple answer, because they often have to deal with non-specialists who don’t know what they’re talking about.

 – Think about the answer before you ask the question

You should already know the answer, you can think about what you were expecting to here and what you did here.

Different types of questions

Closed questions/Open questions – usually better for an extended interview

Off the record (OTR) – don’t tell anyone it was me that said this

The interviewee must specifically say that something is off the record before they say it.

Chatham House rules – you may report information but not identify the speaker, like reporting what was said at a meeting but not who was there.

Using quotes

People talk about different things at different times on the same theme, arrange the quotes in such a way that it reads like a story.

As long as you don’t change the meaning of what’s being said you can make minor tweaks

Quote exclusive content, there’s no point quoting stuff that’s everywhere else.

Paraphrase what he said in to one sentence/Use direct quotes as full sentences/quote important words like someone thinking its “dangerous”.

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