Email Interviews with Reporters
This Washington Post article discusses how interview subjects are redefining their relationship with reporters:
The humble interview, the linchpin of journalism for centuries, is under assault….[I]n the digital age, some executives and commentators are saying they will respond only by e-mail, which allows them to post the entire exchange if they feel they have been misrepresented, truncated or otherwise disrespected. And some go further, saying, You want to know what I think? Read my blog.
1) I like email interviews with reporters because I think I generally express myself better in writing than babbling in real-time, plus reporters often can’t keep up with my fast talking. However, sometimes phone interviews have a spontaneity that leads me to say more outrageous things than I would write, and in some cases phone interviews take less time than email interviews.
2) I still find it odd when reporters quote from a blog post without verifying authenticity, but I do love it when my blog is quoted with or without my permission: it takes no additional time on my part and I get extra credit for the work I’ve already done, plus usually my blog post says exactly what I wanted to say. (Even better is when the resulting story gives me a little link love). In fact, I’m a little surprised when reporters who read my blog post nevertheless want to conduct a separate phone interview to get my comments. Huh? (Believe it or not, this happens with some frequency).
3) Not infrequently, if I get two or more calls on a particular story and I haven’t blogged it, I go ahead and write up a blog post recapping what I told those reporters. I can then direct future reporter inquiries to the post. If I conduct an email interview with a reporter, almost invariably my emailed remarks go up on my blog–not because I worry about misquoting, but simply because I want to recycle the work. (A blogger’s credo: No good thought goes unblogged).