Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blog posting, references for interview techniques, and links for recording via Skype

Have at least one new blog post on your personal art blog by next Tuesday's class.

Here are some references for good interview techniques. Please have your interview completed and recorded by Thursday, 9/8.

Thirteen Simple Journalist Techniques for Effective Interviews

Ten tips for a better interview (from the Committee of Concerned Journalists)

The parts I would underline are:

1. Be prepared. Do some research, so that you have some feel for the interviewee's background, and can ask some questions that show you've spent time thinking about the interviewee. This both tends to generate better, more specific answers, and it flatters the subject -- as well as showing that you're not a total ignoramus.

2. Silence is OK. Sometimes if there's a pause, just let it hang there -- you don't have to fill up every second of "dead air." People will tend to give more thoughtful answers if you give them time to think.

3. Asked open-ended, as opposed to to closed, questions.

4. Listen -- and ask follow-ups. Don't stick to your script of questions if there are other, interesting directions the interview is going -- you can always come back to your pre-scripted questions after the digression runs its course. Ask for clarification if you're not sure of something.


If you're on a mac, you can use the software Audio Hijack to capture the audio of your Skype call (or the audio of any program you have on your mac). You can download an old version of Audio Hijack here:

Note: it won't work on OSX 10.6 or higher. But you can use it for free for 15 days, which should be enough of a window for you.

Once you've downloaded and installed it, launch Audio Hijack, and in the Inspector window, click "Source," and select Skype as an application you wish to "hijack." Under the "Recording" button, select where you want the file to be saved to. Then hit the "Record" button in the main Audio Hijack window, launch Skype, and make your call. Hit the record button once again when you're done.

If you want to use Skype to call a land line or a cell line, you need to buy Skype credit. Some info on that here:

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