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'Said in an interview' or just 'said' or ...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by for_the_hunt, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. for_the_hunt

    for_the_hunt Member

    We've been having a healthy debate here at the office, and we agreed we'd go with the SportsJournalists.com consensus since we can't seem to agree.

    We just had an exclusive, one-on-one telephone interview with the opposing team's quarterback. How do we refer to this interview in the story? So-and-so told The College Paper in a telephone interview? So-and-so said in a telephone interview? So-and-so told The College Paper? Well, you get the idea ...

    One of the biggest papers in the state referred to a teleconference quote this week as "said in a telephone interview," but I think that's a little misleading because it almost sounds like he had an exclusive ... is there any hard-and-fast rule to how this works? What should we go with?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    your story should read: "said by telephone." use of the name of the paper should only be used if something particularly newsy was said or if it is a particularly rare, hard-to-get interview subject..

    the latter should absolutely have read: " ... said during a conference call.
  3. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Agreed. If it's a big deal that you got the interview, write it right and play it right. No need to shout, "He talked to us!" At that point, if someone refers to or lifts from what you did and doesn't attribute it to your place, then it's their bad.
  4. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Why don't you just say "said" and not suck your own cock.
  5. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    If the source talked on, for example, a weekly conference call, and we didn't have anyone on the call, but got a transcript of the call on a team or league' web site, we have to say this: "blahblahblah," said John Smith, according to the transcript of a conference call that was posted on team X's website."

    Are we the only ones having to do that?
  6. enigami

    enigami Member

    We don't do that.

  7. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Unless it's particularly heady stuff or breaking news, why note a conference call? Is it that different than a guy talking in person to a herd of reporters? You wouldn't say "joe quarterback said in an after-practice group interview."

    I think some of these attributions (not all of them) can get carried away, as if we're writing for our competitors and supervisors instead of readers. Hondo's example is way over the top. I got exhausted reading that.
  8. i think saying said in a phone interview or what not puts it into context for the reader....

    just my two cents...
  9. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    If it's just a normal feature interview, without any real breaking news, I would just use "said." There's no point in expounding beyond that.

    Nobody cares if it was by telephone. Nobody cares if it was one-on-one -- unless, he says something completely inflammatory. Then, you might want to get into the particulars.
  10. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member


    Almost every quote our paper runs comes from an interview. If we wrote "in an interview" in every story, that would be nuts.

    Some interviews are in person. Some are by phone. Some are at news conferences. Some are at informal news conferences after practice. There has to be a compelling reason for me to write anything other than "said."

    Some of those reasons have been:

    -- To distinguish quotes we got from the coach from any we may have used from a prepared statement.

    -- To clear up whether one quote came in August camp and another came in the last day or so.

    -- Clarifying the setting if it's relevant enough for the reader to know.

    -- One or two others I can't recall right now.

    Otherwise, "said."
  11. Boobie Miles

    Boobie Miles Active Member

    "Do we need a thread on this every week?" Boobie Miles said in a post on sportsjournalists.com Thursday night.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I hear you Boobie. But it is a question that's going to keep coming up. I'd never responded on the other threads but now it's making me wonder more and more.

    Look at athletes' comments on their personal websites. If Tiger or Barry Bonds says something on his website, even if it's not particularly newsworthy, it's always attributed as "Tiger Woods said on his website." NASCAR drivers, on the other hand, are quoted all the time from their sites but almost never with such attribution.
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