Sunday, 10 July 2011

Interviewing and "Quoting"

On July 4th, Ms. Mariya taught us how to interview and take down good quotes. To interview means to obtain information from sources. It is one of the many important skills necessary in journalism.

Before, during, and after
Before the interview, the person who is going to take interview—the journalist in this case—from an interviewee should be well prepared. The interviewer should do his full research about the person he is going to interview. Then, he should prepare a list of relevant questions ahead of time. Those questions should not be complex but rather, easy to understand by the interviewee. A good interviewer asks interesting and important questions. Some interviewee may stray away from the relevant or required topic; in that case, the interviewer should bring him back to the topic.

During the interview, the interviewer should write the interviewee’s responses as fast as possible. However, not everything the interviewee is worth quoting. Only the most interesting things that an interviewee says should be quoted.

After an interview, the interviewer must review his notes and make any additional notes with a different color ink so that he does not forget later what happened.

Good v. Bad
A quote is any interesting or important fact that an interviewee says in an interview. All quotes should be clear so that a reader can understand them. Direct quotes are always written in quotation marks; indirect quotes are credited to the person who said them.

There are good and bad quotes. A good quote is when someone says something
interesting or in an interesting manner. A good quote should grab the reader’s attention and deliver a sense of speaker’s personality. In contrast, a bad quote is when someone says something in a very boring, dull and uninteresting manner. A bad quote has unclear speech and does not grab the reader’s attention.

For example, here’s a made-up quote by the president of Pakistan about the freedom of Kashmir.

“I think that the people of Kashmir should be let free. They have full right to live their lives in a manner in which they would like. And I will do my best to helm them in their freedom.”

 This is a good quote because it is written in a very interesting manner and it grabs the readers attention. The quote also tells us a little bit about the personality of our president: he cares about Kashmiri people and is willing to help them in their freedom.

Here, the same quote is said in a very boring way. It makes the president sound very unsympathetic and uncaring.

“I will think about he people of Kashmir and their freedom.”

Before, during, and after an interview, a journalist must be very attentive. It is important to capture the right words to tell a story accurately.

By Iqra Musfarat

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