Reporter Interview Preparation Guide
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Reporter related Frequently Asked Questions by expert members with job experience as Reporter. These questions and answers will help you strengthen your technical skills, prepare for the new job interview and quickly revise your concepts

69 Reporter Questions and Answers:

1 :: Tell us how can we tell this story digitally?

We are increasingly telling our stories across platforms -- on the Web and on tablets and other digital devices. It’s important for the reporter to develop a sharp sense of what kinds of storytelling work well on different platforms. In addition to producing the traditional story, could we create short videos of the people in the story for an online package? Are there any ways of telling the story through an interactive graphic that would work on the iPad?

2 :: Tell us what surprised you?

As much as I hate to admit it, many, if not most, of the stories that journalists produce are written in a predictable way. Asking about “surprise” can help the writer shed his or her journalistic mantle, at least for a moment, and just react to the story’s events as a human being. Who were the quirky personalities you met? What was a jarring quote you heard? What did you not see coming? What interesting details and anecdotes do you have in your notebook that you left out of the story, and how do we get one or two of them back in?

3 :: Explain me how do you get witnesses, detectives, family members and so on to talk to you?

I’m unfailingly courteous. You show people respect and they’ll give you the goddamned world. We’re walking into their lives, very often on the worst day of their lives. They don’t owe us anything. One thing I say is “I’m terribly sorry to bother you. I know this is a difficult time. I wonder if you might say a few kind words about…” and then I turn it into a conversation. I don’t just question them. I open with an apology and I engage in a conversation.

This might seem like an old Catholic-school boy, but I also show up with a shirt and tie. Basically, they don’t know me from jack, and I’m going into their homes, their places of worship, their hospital rooms. A shirt and a tie convey respect. It’s very basic stuff. It also conveys authority: I’m someone you should talk to. I mean, it’s not something I grew up doing. Hell, I was a rock critic for a number of years with a ripped t-shirt and a leather jacket. But this is a remarkably different game.

4 :: Tell me how many stories are you usually working on at a time?

Usually anywhere from one to three stories per day. I try to do one story at a time if possible.

5 :: Tell us how do you prevent yourself from becoming quite sad after seeing these situations on a daily basis?

At the same time, I love these people. These are my people. I walk into these housing projects, cause as I child I lived in the housing projects. I know the fields in which I labor. I’m from the old neighborhood, and I know these people’s situations. And I’m always moved by their generosity. You find decency in the most staggeringly bad places.

6 :: Explain where Does The Expression "op-ed" Come From And What Does It Mean?

The op-ed page is the page directly opposite the page that contains that particular newspaper's editorials. It is a forum for views from people, columnists from other papers, readers, and letters to the editor, etc.

7 :: Explain when It Comes To Working In Book And Magazine Publishing, Is It Always Necessary To Be A Writer First, Then An Editor?

No, it is not necessary. There are some different skills required to be a successful editor than to be a successful writer. Of course, there is some overlap. However, many people have fine editing skills that are not necessary great writers. Most entry-level position at magazines is as editorial assistants or assistant editors. Magazines use mostly freelance writers and few of them have full-time writers. Editors in chief need good supervisory and management skills as well.

8 :: Tell us how Does The History Of Journalism Relate To Australias Democratic Government Today?

Australia has always been a democracy and it has always had a free press. The two go hand in hand -- you cannot have a democracy without a free press and you cannot have a free press without democracy.

Are you looking at specific events in Australia's history, with regard to how these events were reported in the Australian press? If so, you will have to be more specific.

9 :: Explain what Are The Problems Of Investigative Journalism?

Among the problems I encountered was finding, gaining access to, & then protecting the identity of sources for inside info. Then you still have to get some type of confirmation the info you have obtained is accurate & verifiable.

Many source documents needed for corroboration are difficult or impossible to gain access to as they are protected by security classification or have been destroyed.

10 :: Tell us how Did Yellow Journalism Affect The Americans Toward The Cuban Revolt?

The press played a tremendous part in leading the charge toward America's involvement in Cuba. Two publishers, William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, stood out among these opportunists. They perceived the conflict with Spain as their chance to increase circulation of their newspapers. Seizing upon the opportunity to capitalize on the growing spirit of American patriotism, Hearst and Pulitzer printed sensational anti-Spanish stories.

Graphic illustrations commissioned from some of the country's most-talented artists and stories written by premiere authors and journalists of the day were fodder for fueling the flames of war. Together, Hearst and Pulitzer created frenzy among the American people by reporting the alleged brutality of the Spanish toward the Cuban rebels. (However, acts of outrage committed by the Cubans were seldom mentioned.) By the time the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor, the pro-war press had roused national sentiment to the point that President McKinley feared his political party would suffer if he did not engage in war with Spain.