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How to conduct

1. The interview is the primary
method of gathering information
for news stories. Personal
interviews provide the most
reliable information about recent

 If you can find someone who can

provide new information about an
interesting subject, you have a news
2. Do your homework. Be sure
that you know some
background about the source
and the subject before you
begin the interview. Don’t
waste the source’s time on
basic questions you could have
answered easily elsewhere.
What not to ask:
 What is your complete name?
 What is your current position?
 How long have you been in your position?
 (ACTOR) Are you part of the main cast?
 (POLITICIAN) Were you elected? How many
years have you been in your position?
 (CONTEST WINNERS) Did you win first place in
the competition?
3. Be polite. Being courteous during
an interview is one of the best
ways to get information.
Remember that you are asking the
source to do you a favor by
answering your questions.
 Even if you don’t like the person, be
courteous and pleasant.
4. Smile and be pleasant. If you make
the experience a pleasant one for the
source, he or she will be more likely
to cooperate and help you with your
story. It is a good idea to compliment
the person and exchange
 It is excellent to exchange small talk
before taking out your notebook or tape
recorder and getting down to business.
5. Request interviews as far ahead as
possible. Although you may be
facing a tight deadline, you cannot
expect every source to be able to
drop everything and answer your
questions immediately.
 Be prepared with another story so that if
the interviewee is not available for
interview, you have another story to
work on.
6. Interview people in person
whenever possible because you
can learn a lot from their
mannerisms, dress, and
appearance. If it is possible to
interview them in their place of
business or home, that will give
you more information.
(according to PURPOSE)
 Information-gathering (news reporting, job interview, data collection, etc.)
 The Personality interview (celerity and VIPs, political figures)
 Interviews of ordinary people
 Oral history
 Tape-recording of reminiscences about which the narrator can
speak from first-hand knowledge. This is intended for use in
the future by a wide variety of researchers: public records,
reports, government statistics, business and civic records, etc.
(according to method)
 Face-to-face interview
 You get much information than you
 Phone interview
 Advantage: saves time
 E-mail interview
 Advantage: misquotation is avoided
7. Dress appropriately for an interview. When
possible, try to dress in the same style and
degree of formality as the person you are

8. Tape recorders are often more harmful

than helpful. They make people feel
awkward, they are subject to malfunction,
and they require transcription after the
interview. Most professional reporters
prefer written notes.
9. When taking notes, feel free to
ask the person being
interviewed to slow down or to
repeat answers. Sources
usually appreciate that.

There’s nothing wrong with saying:

“That’s very interesting, please wait a
minute while I get that down.”
10. Do not write down every word the
source says. It is more important to
listen thoughtfully and make notes
about the most important points
and the best quotes. Read back the
quotes you expect to use.
11. Always ask sources if you may call
them back for more information or
clarification later, and ask for
telephone numbers where they can
be reached.
12. Ask the source if he or she can
suggest another person to talk to
on the same subject.
13. Prepare a written list of
questions, but be flexible enough
to add new questions if the
source’s answers suggest them.
Ask open-ended questions that
cannot be answered by a simple
YES or NO.
14. Always identify yourself as a
reporter conducting an interview
for publication. Do not accept
any limitations, such as keeping
information secret or “off the
record,” except in the rarest
15. Ask the people you interview if
there is anything they would
like to add.

16. Never offer your own opinions

as part of an interview.

17. Never forget to say THANK YOU

at the end of interview.

a 300-word
news story based on
 Suggested topics:
 Why five colleges didn’t subscribe to the Pioneer
 What BSN students can say about the issue on the leakage
on Nurses’ board exam
 What students can say about the quality of education at AUF
 What students can say about the rate of tricycle fare in
Angeles City
 what students think about the cleanliness and safety in the
 What the Theater Arts students and the other casts are doing
in preparation for Romeo & Juliet
 What Mr. Mabesa expects from the cast and the production
staff of Romeo & Juliet.