The process of the interview has the reporter hold all the cards in his hand: who he talks with and what he will reveal to each and what he will say in the end, without links to what any of the parties has said. Then the reporter gets to toss it all on the table. A process of links and discovery and conversation and correction would be far more illuminating of the ideas and issues than this old process of control through the sieve (and efforts to trump up conflict and drama).

BuzzMachine » Blog Archive » No bullshit here

Lots of this is just “he said” but “I really said,” and interesting to journalism insiders. But toward the end of his funny self-defense, Jarvis hits on something that should be a discussion and then an assignment in Journalism classes everywhere. Is the old-style one-on-one interview a dead-end narrative form?

Sure, if you are trapped in a waiting room that has no Wi-Fi or cell connectivity, you might pick up a magazine and read an interview as JJ describes. It represents, not objectivity, no matter what the earnest reporter may say. It is a narrative that is valuable only in its selectivity, because otherwise it would be a transcript or unedited recording.

If we aren’t trapped off the grid, who wouldn’t read an interview, and check Wikipedia, google someone mentioned in the article, look up a word or do a fact-check, while reading a story online?

We need to be pushing our students to explore contextualized, interactive, multi-layered narratives. Reporters need to move their own words off the stage a bit, and allow the interviewees words, blog posts, and all the other tweets, jotts, and status updates, that make up one’s online persona to share the stage through links and other interactive experiences.

That’s what I think.

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