Creative Interviewing: The Writer's Guide to Gathering Information by Asking Questions / Edition 3

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This comprehensive book covers everything an aspiring interviewer needs to know from developing listening and observation skills to conducting interviews by electronic mail and surfing the Internet for story ideas. Creative Interviewing aids readers by using examples and anecdotal accounts of actual professional experiences. Readers are provided with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for and conduct a strong interview, how to obtain dramatic anecdotes from sources, how to build conversational rapport, how to conduct interviews for broadcast, and how to cope with the dynamics of a series of interviews on a certain topic. For any professional who wishes to improve their interviewing skills.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205262588
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 9/10/1996
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 238
  • Sales rank: 813,114
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

1. What's Your Interviewing Problem?

The Obvious Problems.

The Hidden Problems.

2. What is an Interview?

Nonjudgmental demeanor: The basic principle.

How journalists obtain information.

Illustrating the journalistic interview.

The creative interview.

The creative question.

Types of interviews: directive and nondirective.

3. The Ten Stages of the Interview.

1. Defining the purpose of the interview.

2. Conducting background research.

3. Requesting an interview appointment.

4. Planning the interview.

5. Meeting your respondent, breaking the ice.

6. Asking your first questions.

7. Establishing an easy rapport.

8. Asking the bomb.

9. Recovering from the bomb.

10. Concluding the interview.

4. Elements of the Interview: A Case History.

Defining the purpose.

Background research.

Planning the interview.

On the phone.

Some points to remember.

5. Asking Questions.

Phrase your questions simply and clearly.

Open versus closed questions.

Sequencing of questions: the funnel.

Opening questions.

Filter questions.

Probe (follow-up) questions.

Factual questions: The five W's.

Conceptually defining questions.

Number questions.

Reflective questions.

Creative questions.

Leading, loaded, and junkpile questions.

6. The Conversational Dynamics of Interviewing.

The value of research.

Scanning the literature of interviewing.

The place of the gentle question.

Nonverbal communication.

Essentials of personal communication.

7. Being Interviewed.

Plight of the sudden celebrity.

Why be interviewed?

A national organization for news sources?

Interviewee preparation.

Interview gamesmanship.

Final Points.

8. Planning Your Interview.

Planning starts with purpose.

Requesting an appointment.

Do your homework.

Assessing character and interests.

Preparing areas of inquiry.

Anticipating answers.

The game plan.

Keep your plans flexible.

A planning footnote.

9. Lessons from Failure.

10. Learning to Listen.

Aggressive listening.

How to become a professional listener.

11. Journalistic Observation.

The new research requirements of “literary journalism.”

Three types of journalistic observation.

What to observe.

12. Interviewing for Quotes and Anecdotes.

Learning to recognize quotations.

Interviewing for quotations.

Eliciting the elusive anecdote.

13. Telephoning, Note Taking, and Taping.

Interviewing by telephone.

Taking notes.

Using tape recorders.

14. Special Problems.

Hard-to-get interviews.

Asking sensitive questions.


Coping with hostility.

Are they telling the truth?

Nudging hazy memories.

Evasive respondents.

Off the record.

The news conference.

What will you write about me?

The boring respondent.

When you're unprepared.

15. Electronic Aids to Interviewing.

The E-mail interview.

Securing help through the Internet.

Picking up news leads

Securing documents through the Internet.

16. The Broadcast Interview.

How broadcast differs.

Three types of broadcast interviews.

Asking questions for broadcast.

17. Covering a Newsbeat.

How interviewing differs on the beat.

The basics of newsbeat coverage.

Getting started on a newsbeat.

Basic steps for a newsbeat.

Three sources of news.

Blind questions for newsbeat coverage.

18. Multiple-Interview Projects.

The nature of multi-interview projects.

Special requirements of the project interview.

19. The Personality Interview.

Types of personality interviews.

Uses for the personality interview.

Problems of coping with personality.

Conducting the personality interview.

Twenty personality questions.

Remembering the interviewer.

20. Ethics of the Interview.




Invasion of privacy.

A media source's “Bill of Rights.”


21. Ten Steps Toward Truth.

Appendix A: Interviewing Exercises.

Appendix B: Sample Interview Report.




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