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Interview Assessment #4

Emma Bittner

Question List and Notes on following pages

Name of Person Interviewed: Mr. Arnold Wayne Jones

Profession: Executive Life and Style Editor for Dallas Voice

Location and Business Name: Dallas Voice

1825 Market Center Blvd.,

Suite 240

Dallas, TX 75207

Date of Interview: November 15, 2016

Time: 5:30 p.m.

My iced americano was creating a ring of sweat on the napkin folded beneath as I
readjusted my stack of papers. The Starbucks in Mockingbird Station was busy with customers,
some running in to grab their pre-ordered drinks, while others sat and caught up with old friends.
I had just opened my journal to a fresh page as Mr. Jones walked into the coffee shop. He greeted
me warmly and joked about how he brought his notepad so I could easily identify him as the
journalist I was meeting with. He ordered his iced coffee and took a seat across from me.
We recapped what had occurred during our last interview and started off discussing some
current events that had happened recently. It had been less than a week than the election results
had surfaced and as Mr. Jones worked at the LGBTQ newspaper of Dallas, the news was not
taken lightly. He touched on how if something affects you, you need to be able to write about it.
It’s imperative to get first-hand accounts of special events. Additionally, he noted how everyone
believes there are two sides to every story, yet stories are not coins. Sometimes the two sides are
largely unproportionate, Mr. Jones gave the example of climate change. Climate change is most
definitely occurring, yet 1% of scientists still oppose this concept. The two sides to the story are
not proportional and don’t have truth to both sides.
Additionally, as we furthered into our conversation Mr. Jones discussed the importance of
“going off the script” during interviews. You can get the story you want by asking certain
questions based on the answers you receive. To do this we have to go off script and stray away
from our pre-written, planned out questions. In doing this, we are not only personable and create
a conversational interview, but you gain much more than what would have come from a
constructive formulaic interview set. In addition, when conducting a beneficial interview, you
must care what you’re talking about, care what you’re doing and do it in a unique way. This
opens the door for stories that will captivate a wider audience and be meaningful.
As journalists we care about what we write about, therefore we write the story that we want to
read. We put our effort into it. We don’t just interview, we find that within the person is the
story. Also, as we care about our work, we take the time to be accuracy. Living in a day and age
where accuracy is put on the back burner, it’s crucial that those who have a passion for
journalism need to revert their focus back to finding the truth and sharing it. We find the truth in
the headlines first. Don’t make it outrageous just to grasp attention, be honest, but engaging.
Mr. Jones was able to describe the most detailed parts of journalism and do so with a passion.
As our interview concluded, I realized that I couldn’t wait to move forward and actually inform
people of the truth, the truth that they care about. In the end, he reminded me that everything has
a purpose and sometimes our purpose is to educate those who are uneducated.
1. Current events- what is going on? How did this affect how you are reporting?
a. LGBTQ Newspaper- largely democratic
b. Not enthused with the election !!
c. He doesn’t focus of the political aspect, yet had to
d. This affects him and the audience of their newspaper
e. If something affects YOU, YOU need to write about it
f. 2 sides to every story- PSYCH NOT ALWAYS
i. 99% VS 1% of climate change scientists believe in climate change
ii. Not 2 sides to every story
iii. It’s not a coin\
2. Don’t always stick to the outline
a. Structured interviews are boring
b. Go off your script
c. Listen to what the others say and go off that
d. Play it by ear
e. Ask things in a unique way
3. When you know things, use it your advantage
a. Congratulate people on their accomplishments
b. Be sure to listen and work off that
c. Being personable will get you far
4. What do you need in every story
a. A unique approach
b. If you don’t have a picture, you don’t have a story
c. Make sure news come before ads
d. Make sure you interview with respect for others time
e. Have accuracy and truth
5. Headlines need to be true yet still engaging
a. FOR EXAMPLE, in 1980/1990 Oliver North was convicted
b. The headline read that he was guilty on 3 accounts
c. Yet it was 3/22 and that was not mentioned
6. Hard News vs Soft News

HARD NEWS SOFT NEWS

said says

statements Conveys opinions with facts

Straight forward Broader spectrum
7. Everything has a purpose
a. He is a film critic and new had just seen Lala Land where the opening scene paralleled to a very
well known french film
b. Girl on the train and gone girl both start on the same day, June 6

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