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Long-distance interviews

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TrooperBari, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    E-mail interviews are generally frowned upon, and rightly so.

    What if your subject is somewhere -- say, Australia -- where a phone call or an in-person interview isn't feasible? Does that make it more kosher (kosherer?)? Regular long-distance calls don't go over well here, so a round of phone tag with someone in Oz could set off a series of aneurysms.
  2. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Had to do that exact same thing -- e-mail 2-3 baseball players for daily updates of a tournament tour Down Under -- a couple years ago.

    You do what's feasible to get the information. E-mail (and, to a lesser extent, text messaging) is how many people stay in touch these days.

    You shouldn't make a habit of conducting interviews that way, of course. Too much can get lost in the translation.

    But failing to use those resources when the situation calls for it, because they're "frowned" upon, shows little respect for the times we live in, and the technology available to us.
  3. Taylee

    Taylee Member

    Agree that it's a last option, but make one thing clear with the person you're interviewing: Tell the person that you may need to massage the copy a bit. No one talks like they write and it will come across that way. No one will mind, because most clean spoken words anyway, especially in a one-on-one interview.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Agree with the above sentiments. Don't make a habit of doing e-mail interviews, but if it's easier than trying to set up a trans-oceanic phone call, then go ahead. I've done two this way, both with people who were well out of the country. One was a civilian contractor in Iraq, the other was the GM of a European basketball team one of our locals signed with. After an unsuccessful, but hilarious, attempt to call the Euro, we decided it was OK to try the e-mail route. Helped with the language barrier, too.
  5. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Grazie, gente.

    I suppose there's no guarantee I'd be able to comprehend Aussie English in the first place.
  6. villageidiot

    villageidiot Member

    I did a phone interview once for a 10,000 weekly rag in the midwest. Boss got mad when he got the 1-900 telephone bill.
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