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Interviewing and Obituaries

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Bishop's University
ENG 285
Chad Gibbs

Ethical question: You agree to run one story about a fundraiser for a terminally ill person, what happens when others ask for the same:  find out if they are ill  is it newsworthy?  is there a spot for it  uniform coverage for all on a set day  put in a larger section devoted to that sort of thing  is it reasonable to run?  can you give it weight?  give link to other organisation that deals with that Interviews  you want the best answers, you need to ask the best questions  skill and art; it takes practice Pre-interview:  homework (business, position, politics, check archives) so you can get the right information and say they’re wrong  be prepared to learn  have bones of questions, this can help you bring it back from a tangent o guess at the answers, the answer could prove surprising or a contradiction Getting through:  have series of gates o start with secretary o board o spokes people o source  everyone has right to remain silent  no comment has it’s own implications  have variety of ways to contact people and bypass some gates o the better you know someone, the harder it is for a source to say no  why reporters have beats  ambush them if you can’t get through o best with electronic media o looking for a reaction, so you may not get what you want o highly confrontational Tools:  best is in person, especially if in person  email is easiest, but planned and thought out. no emotion or spontaneity o date line depends story (if story is one their end give it to them, if its on your end you get it)  telephone is fast and can get you source material o if you want to find a journalist, call the bar o date line depends story (if story is one their end give it to them, if its on your end you get it)  Skype, etc. good, but lose some setting. have the spontaneity, but lose control o date line depends story (if story is one their end give it to them, if its on your end you get it) Recording:  paper and own short hand  video  audio recording (one party must know they’re being recorded) o ethically you should let them know Strategies:  find common ground o get them comfortable  can be hard unless trained to give good interview  chit chat before official interview  use surroundings  get them to summarise o have them explain structure and chr
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