Interviewing: A Guide for Journalists and Writers

By Gail Sedorkin; Judy McGregor | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Almost every journalist has a horror story, or two, to tell about their first interviewing attempts—failing to ask questions, not listening to the answers, a tape recording with no sound, or returning to the newsroom practically empty-handed are common disasters.

David Leser says that his first interview 22 years ago, when he was working for The Daily Telegraph as a cadet journalist, is still etched in his brain:

It was my first day on the job and there was an industrial dispute and I had to call management and workers to get a response. This was my very first call for my very first story and I was so nervous that, when the person answered the phone, I promptly forgot not only whom I was calling but why I was calling (2001: 8).

Cadets' interview training often consisted of watching a senior reporter for a few days before being let loose to sink or swim, despite the fact that interviewing is an integral part of journalism and professional writing. In fact, Ken Metzler believes that ‘good reporting is about 80 per cent interviewing’, and goes on to ask, ‘What is the point of being a good writer if you have nothing of substance to convey through your writing?’ (1977: 133).

Bob Jervis agrees that ‘interviewing is the most important,

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Interviewing: A Guide for Journalists and Writers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgements iv
  • Introduction v
  • References vii
  • 1 - The Interview … Revealing All 1
  • References 19
  • 2 - Research 20
  • References *
  • 3 - Getting Started 37
  • References 55
  • 4 - Breaking the Ice 56
  • References *
  • 5 - The Questions 68
  • References *
  • 6 - Print Interviews 94
  • References *
  • 7 - Broadcast Interviews 110
  • References *
  • 8 - Telephone and Email Interviews 131
  • References 141
  • 9 - Using the Information 142
  • References 158
  • 10 - Keeping Safe 160
  • References *
  • Resources 175
  • Index 181
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