I’m not the sharpest tack in the box. De-mystifying science, the job of a science writer, is difficult for me because I am easily mystified. I feel comfortable in my world of wildlife biology, but when I venture out to cover physical science stories in chemistry, physics, etc., it’s pretty daunting. In these cases, the interview process is my only hope for getting my arms around the material. I have to make it count.
In our reader we have interview suggestions from Kathy Miller, Managing Editor for Biomedical Computation Review, but I wanted to share a few additional links that I have found helpful. Matador Network, a website for travel journalists posted 13 tips for conducting an interview, and the Associated Press website has a piece on mastering the interview as a way to become a stellar journalist. Lastly, The YSJ (Young Scientists Journal) has an article that is almost the same format as Miller’s information in our reader.
The one piece of advice I would add is to “pre-flight your gear.” Make sure your recorder is ready to go, or that your telephone headset is set up the right way. All of the equipment for recording interviews is new to me, and I’ve already hung up on one interviewee by mistake. Maybe we should add a section to this blog where we can post our best interview bloopers.