Monday, April 30, 2007

Citizen journalism dos and don'ts

This knowledge acquired via personal gaffesexperience. More to come.
  1. Identify self, affiliation and exact purpose at the outset. It doesn't go over well, if crucial info doesn't come out until 40 minutes into the conversation.

  2. Get abundantly, stupendously clear just what the groundrules are. Again, belated surprises are not welcome.

  3. Use speakerphone or have pens and paper handy. One-handed typing does not work.

  4. The person you are interviewing (or, should you engage in mishaps#1 and 2, having a nice talk with) likely comes from a very different perspective, and will be reluctant to dispense the simple 1-sentence soundbites that are all your readers are set up to digest. Be prepared for this.
    Q: what exactly does 'being prepared' entail?
    A: beats me. tune in next time...

  5. (not a do or a don't, but it is a small world...)

And questions:

  1. If you ask someone questions and they stonewall, what's the appropriate thing to do when you run into them a) around town? b) in comments section of your or another blog? (do you re-ask the qs, do you give a gentle reminder that you're still waiting, or are you limited to commenting on the lovely weather we're having?)
    (for this q, assume that the unanswered questions are legitimate)

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