Irina Galkina, Editor-in-Chief, business magazine «KIT»
The brief course of journalistic skill
(possibly not in accordance with generally accepted theory)
One of the main prerequisites of this genre is the presence of extraordinary interlocutor. If a person is a «gray mouse», interviewing him does not make any sense. He can't tell nothing interesting. The idea of such interview is obviously a failure.
Therefore, we interview only those who have achieved success, have a high status (unfortunately, not always reaffirmed with their intellect), who is interesting for the society and "has his own tsar in his/her head".
To make a good (I mean brilliant) interview, it's important to know about the interlocutor as much as possible - remember what you know and what you have heard and read about him.
Find all that is possible on the Internet. During the interview, you should feel yourself confident and easy. You shouldn't prepare only obsequious questions - how is your interlocutor is smart, successful, charming, etc. Nothing of that sort! Prepare tricky questions. Make an unexpected turns. It's not obligatory to show questions to the interlocutor before the interview.
The interview should not become a monotonous monologue of your interlocutor. Do not let him tell only what he wants. Catch his thoughts, ask counter-questions, try to win his favor - then the conversation will become more open.
Remember: even the flat talk (this happens also with VIPs) can turn into a brilliant, fascinating interview. To do this, it is important to know some tricks and try to use them in the process of writing an interview.
1. Did you notice that some of the interviews, published in newspapers and magazines, you do read straight away, and others leave after reading the first paragraph. Don't make the mistakes of those authors you do not want to read. Introduction to an interview must be easy, picturesque, catching. And the form in no case should give way to substance. It is intro that let us know most information about the company, it's achievements and possible changes (we must write the same way if we writing about the person). Introduction to the interview is the quintessence of all the material! There must be a core idea in interview around which everything is organized. And if any thoughts do not fit into this concept, they can be disposed of at all, material will only benefit.
2. Writing interview, imagine that you are again talking with the person on the same topic. I doubt that your talk was devoid of any logic, it was running around, you didn't jump from one side to another (if that happens, it is contraindicated to be reflected in the completed text). So, building a text, do not forget about the audience. They do not know many details about your interlocutor, they can not capture the intonations and think for you or your interviewer. The text should be clearly understood for anyone who will read your paper. The reader is not obliged to unravel your riddles or hardly try to understand what did the author or the interviewer mind.
3. Very often, two sides in an interview can not quickly and intelligently articulate their thoughts. When you write, you can do some generalizations for your interlocutor. It's easier to articulate the idea accurately and briefly during writing than in conversation. The text of the interview is usually approved, and it's a good support for you in case you have not expressed the idea of your vis-a-vis correctly. He/she could help you to make necessarily corrections. And if his/her thought was expressed ideally, you will be appreciated for presenting interlocutor as a very resourceful and aphoristic person instead of an inarticulate blockhead. Your next request for interview will be welcomed as soon as possible!
4. The text will become much more interesting if you use live, non-trite phrases, discussion (in one case you are interested in your interlocutor's opinion, in another - argue with him), ask unexpected or not very pleasant questions. Any interview, even on a specific topic can be emotionally colored. This gives drive and forces to read more.
5. Internal editing is not less important than editorial correction. Be critical of what and how you write. Don't be lazy to improve your skills. If it seems to you that the text is raw, or not very exciting set out, try to find the cause, restructure, rewrite. Don't forget, that the material is signed by your name. And you either capitalizing your name or not. (Even the professional editorial correction can't bring elegance in your story!) Self-improvement is the most important thing in journalism. Who does not strive for self-improvement, will always be mediocre!
6. Read More! The work of your colleagues (not only your team-members in editorial office of newspaper or magazine) - it is your manual for self-tuition. Read tendentiously. Analyze why the text does not seem monotonous, prolonged, and what and how does the journalist ask, how builds his text, etc.
Well, perhaps, it's enough. Good luck! Dare!