The Art of the Interview

By Evan Blackwell, CJE

Before your yearbook staff can begin writing stories, they need to acquire the right information. Use this unit to learn how to interview sources and get that information.

Sample:

Before any yearbook writers can start crafting their masterpieces, information for the story must be gathered. One of the most important ways journalists do this is through interviewing sources.

Actually getting out and talking to people in and around the school community is vital to your yearbook’s coverage. Students, teachers, coaches, administrators, parents – they all make great sources.

But as you get started, there are some fundamental truths about interviewing that you should understand:

  • Good interviews require research and preparation
  • The best interviews are conversations
  • Interviews need attention to (the right) detail

That all sounds sensible, right? Unfortunately, learning these principles is not always easy. They don’t come naturally for every yearbook reporter. But don’t worry, there’s an art to interviewing and every staffer can learn it.

Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a copywriter for Walsworth. Evan joined Walsworth in 2004, and he is responsible for writing and editing articles related to yearbooks and scholastic journalism for walsworthyearbooks.com and Idea File magazine. Prior to joining Walsworth, he was a magazine and newspaper reporter for nearly five years. As a sports reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press in St. Joseph, Mo., Evan was twice honored for Sports Feature Writing by the Missouri Press Association. He was also awarded one of 10 national prizes for Best Sports Game Story by the Associated Press Sports Editors for his coverage of Northwest Missouri State University’s football national championship. Evan holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas. While a student reporter for the University Daily Kansan, he was honored nationally for Personality/Profile Writing in the William Randolph Hearst college journalism contest.