Journalism skills

GUEST POST: Secrets of a good email interview – By Annette Stevens

Throughout their career, journalists have the chance to interview all sorts of people in their profession.  To gain a place in the journalism race, page after page has been written about getting a good interview/vox pop. However, all sorts of methods can be used to get a front page interview. They can included Dictaphones, Twitter, shorthand scribing, and email. So take your pick. What would be the most useful to you?

Those lucky enough to have a commission from a big time magazine would probably use option one and three. For those of you who haven’t a commission, we will be looking at interviewing people via email. This is the ideal method for the ever silent journalist. Even when you’ve looked all over the internet for an email, there may not be one. You could use Twitter, which also gets a quicker response than emails.


So you’ve decided who you would like to interview, whether they are a tv producer, or a bestselling writer. To get the email address, you made need to fill out a internet form, or follow a link. Please bear in mind that it takes a while for the interviewee to respond. Depending on their nationality, time differences should be considered. If it’s an American writer, such as Jodi Picoult, your email may be ignored if sent in the middle of the day (due to it being night time over there).

These are my top tips:

  • As we said before, if the time difference is not the same, send the questions with your application for an interview.
  • Don’t always expect an answer- these are very busy people.
  • Before even starting to write to them, research their work, awards and events. This could save you a lot of bother.
  • When sending your email, always check your spelling. It makes the whole thing look really sloppy, and it can be really embarrassing if they point it out to you!

Annette x


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