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Interviewing while driving...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Elliotte Friedman, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    So, here's the scenario.

    Driving on a freeway (for Canuckistanis: the QEW) Friday afternoon, when an important call comes in from a source. I need to take it, and those of you unfamiliar with this stretch of road should now there are no real shoulders. It's tight.

    I'm alone, so I can't instruct anyone else to grab a pen and paper and communicate the answers to them. I'm also on a TV deadline, racing back to the office to view the tape so it can be sent to an edit suite on time.

    Now, the conversation lasts for 45 minutes, which gets me to the office. As I'm pulling in, I tell my guy, "Look, let me summarize all this," and then repeat the scenario. He re-states some of it, which I can write down as a quote, but agrees with other points, which I paraphrase, but not in quotes, for my blog. (BLOGS!)

    I'm sure this kind of thing happens to everyone. What do you guys do?
  2. DGRollins

    DGRollins Member

    If you were at Trafalgar you could have just got out of your car, pulled out your notepad, and used the hood to write on. I'm sure you would have had more than enough time to complete the interview before anything moved.

    And not to be a killjoy, but there was a young journalist (23ish) in Goderich that was killed while trying to take notes and drive in July 2006. I'm not sure our job is worth that much. I'd do what you did if I had to, but would likely get off the highway and call back.

    And now I have to go read your blog.
  3. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I always have my digital recorder handy, and my cell phone has a loudspeaker. I have recorded many interviews while driving, being as careful as possible, of course.

    When possible, I pull into a parking lot, though.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Living dangerously, E... Not Johnny dangerously, but writing more than a phone number behind a wheel is tough. I've had a lot of coaches total stats up while driving and calling in their scores... it's scary listening to them
  5. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    Co-sign. I've done that a number of times as well.
  6. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    JD has the idea. Obviously, get a hands-free speakerphone, then find a recorder you can patch into it to tape everything. You've got enough on your mind with the traffic and the conversation already.
  7. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    Some cell phones (not the Razr, sadly) have connecting things you can buy from Radio Shack that will plug from the charger outlet to the digital recorder, and it records at high quality. Much better than recording off speakerphone.

    EDIT: Never mind. Appears my techno-retardedness shows that I didn't know you could plug directly into the hands-free speakerphone. Pay no attention.
  8. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    I have made an art out of driving while holding my recorder up to my cellphone while conducting said interview on speaker. I hope there's no cops reading this...
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My cell phone can record, but it doesn't usually work when I need it to... I usually do what JD said and put it on speaker and record it with my iPod or digital recorder...
  10. There's this insane earpiece-recorder thing...the earpiece goes into your ear, a plug into your recorder. You just hold the phone above the ear in which you've put the earpiece...it's magic.
  11. Elliotte Friedman

    Elliotte Friedman Moderator Staff Member

    Does this magical device work on blackberries, or only cell phones?
  12. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    I was quite worried when I saw the first little part of the thread title. I only saw..."Interviewing while dr.." I was thinking "oh man, he we go again."
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