Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Poppletonian - Your Official Newsletter

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

The Poppletonian - Your Official Newsletter

Article excerpt

Weekly transmissions from the blogosphere.

We at Times Higher Education are used to asking the questions when it comes to interviews with academics. It was refreshing, therefore, to read Bill Tierney's view from the other side of the fence, in his latest blog post about how academics can work with journalists.

On the 21st Century Scholar blog (http://ow.ly/f4ehM), Dr Tierney - director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California - considers whether the time he invests in "15 media and related interview requests a month" is well spent.

"My work improves by talking with the vast majority of reporters who want to get it right, even when they are working under tight deadlines and education may not be their beat," he writes.

However, although good journalists are in the "vast majority", he says, there are other, not so good ones. Dr Tierney goes on to give "four examples I have had over the last several months that give reporters a bad name, or at least make me pause".

First up is "the bad student": a journalist who has failed to do the necessary homework.

"If I send a reporter a short article or an op-ed I have written because they have asked me to send them some background, then I expect them to have read it prior to the interview," he writes. "If I give someone, for example, a 700-word op-ed I have written about college access, it's disconcerting if the interviewer begins with, 'Have you ever written anything about college access?'"

Next up on Dr Tierney's list of shame is the impolite "yawner".

"I recently had an interview with someone who yawned her way through the interview. …

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