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Write an interview, imagining the situation where you are a journalist. you have been sent by your newspaper to interview the villagers after the landslide has occurred, to find out more about the conditions in the village.​

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Reporters conduct two kinds of interviews:

 

·         News interview: The purpose is to gather information to explain an idea event or situation in the news.

·         Profile: The focus is on an individual. A news peg often is used to justify the profile.

 

For effective interviews, reporters prepare carefully, and they ask questions that induce the source to talk freely. Questions are directed at obtaining information on a theme that the reporter has in mind before beginning the interview. If a more important theme emerges, the reporter develops it.

The reporter notes what is said, how it is said and what is not said. Sources are encouraged by the reporter's gestures and facial expressions to keep talking.

 

 

 

In the stadium locker room, the half-dressed hurdler was stuffing his warm-up suit and track shoes into a battered black bag. Seated on a bench nearby, a young man removed a pencil and a notepad from a jacket pocket.

"I'm from the paper in town," the young man said. "You looked sharp out there. Mind if I ask you some questions?"

The athlete nodded and continued his packing.

"First time you've been to this part of the West or this city?" the reporter asked. Another nod. This was not going to be easy, the reporter worried. The editor had told him to make sure he brought back a good story for tomorrow's paper, the day the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics would begin its outdoor track meet at the local college. The tall, lithe young man standing in front of the bench was a world record holder in the hurdles, the editor had said, and worth a story for the sports section.

The reporter tried again. "What do you think of our town?" The athlete seemed to see the reporter for the first time.

"I don't know anything about this town," he replied. "I'm here to run. I go to the East coast, the West coast, here. They give me a ticket at school and I get on a bus or a plane and go. My business is to run." He fell silent.

Rebuffed, the reporter struggled to start the athlete talking again. In the 20‑minute interview, the hurdler never really opened up.

 

 

Four Principles

 

Back in the newsroom, the reporter told the editor about his difficulties. They seemed to begin with his first question about whether the athlete had been to the town before, he said. His boss was not sympathetic.

“First, you should have checked the clips and called the college for information about your man,” the editor said. “That way you could have learned something about him, his record or his school. You might have used it to break the ice. Or you could have asked him about the condition of the track, something he knows about.”

Then the editor softened. He knew that interviewing is not easy for young reporters, that it can be perfected only through practice.

“I think you have a good quote there about the business of running,” he told the reporter. “Did you get anything else about the places he's been? That could make an interesting focus for the piece.”

Yes, the reporter said, he had managed to draw the hurdler out about where he had been in the last few months. With the editor's guidance, the re­porter managed to turn out an acceptable story.  This incident illustrates the four principles of interviewing:

 

1.      Prepare carefully, familiarizing yourself with as much background as possible.

2.      Establish a relationship with the source conducive to obtaining information.

3.      Ask questions that are relevant to the source and that induce the source to talk.

4.      Listen and watch attentively.

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