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Wishing "good luck" to end an interview: polite or a little unethical? Awkward?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BobSacamano, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. BobSacamano

    BobSacamano Member

    I recently went back and listened to a few interviews I've conducted for features and such, and cringed when I realized I'm guilty of saying things like, "Thanks for your time and best of luck," to close interviews. The worst is when I've published those closes on Q&A format pieces. My stomach is flipping thinking about it.

    It happens on SportsCenter all the time when they bring athletes in, and I'm afraid it's an ESPN-alism I've inherited the way all writers abuse "would go on" and "would do this, that, and the other."

    This isn't something I said as a rule, but it happened often enough. Now, I can see the argument in favor of interpreting it as an empty, meaningless gesture -- like "how are you?" as a greeting when you don't really give a fuck. And I see how it can be a cordial way to end a conversation. But as journalists, wouldn't "best of luck" be like picking sides? Doesn't it imply that we do have more at stake than our story? I've said "good luck" to boxers doing media rounds before a fight when I really didn't care if they won or not.

    Would "Thanks for your time. I really appreciate it," be a better conversation ender than wishing luck?
  2. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I think it's just polite.
    When a team is ousted from the playoffs and a kid I need to interview is upset, I'll always open with "I know it's tough to hear, but congrats on the season. You guys had a heck of a year." Some positive reinforcement to help ease the pain so I can get the answers I need.
    There's nothing wrong with being polite. We're not zombies.
  3. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Either works.

    You might be overthinking this one just a little bit.

    Wishing someone good luck isn't, to me, the same as saying, "Thanks for the time, and I hope you beat that other team/person."

    Well, thanks for reading this and good luck with your decision!
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    What they said.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    What if it's a political candidate? Different? Or is "good luck" still kosher?
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Polite. It's just a throwaway line, like "Have a good day."
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Being polite is great. Feeling like you have to publish every word in a Q&A is stupid.
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Especially the greeting and farewell. no one wants to read that.
  10. Here me roar

    Here me roar Guest

    Definitely keep in the part where the interviewee had to go take a piss. That's always gold.
  11. Canuck Pappy

    Canuck Pappy Member

    When I talk to a visiting coach after a game I almost always say, "hope you guys have a good ride home."

    I don't really have anything better to say other than thank you.
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