New questions to the generic journalist interview


Tomorrow I’ll interview an investigative journalist and ask them the new set of questions you contributed to the script. Would you be interested doing the transcription of the interview from the audio file? I figured that would be a way for you to see if I somehow misinterpret the purpose of your questions. Or to get information from the journalist answers in a way that would be lost if converted into text. It’s just an idea: I’d be happy to transcribe the interview myself, I enjoy that :wink:


@dachary Great news! Thanks Loic and i’m completely confident that you’ll do perfectly the transcription! It’d with pleasure to contribute to this process, but, as i told you, the problem is that i’ll be completely absent from tomorrow morning for almost two weeks (for a summer school i’m contributing to). Could you make the transcription and send me also the audio file in order that i could work on it later on and, if necessary, propose some improvements to the questions? Best regards

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Ok, I will proceed with the transcription and report suggestions about improvements or clarifications in this thread. The audio file will be uploaded to a private space in and you will get an account there to get access.

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After three interviews with the new questions, I have two remarks:

  • What are the main threats to ethical and quality journalism today? and What are the main risks and problems associated to investigative journalism? are perceived as the same question. Is there maybe a way to reword them so they are not?
  • I’m uneasy asking about fake news because I’m very biased: my opinion is that it is important to not talk about them because they are an path for people in power to censor journalists. I reworded the original question to feel more comfortable. The answers are more interesting than I expected.

What do you think?

For the record interviews including these new questions can be found in the transcripts of 10, 20 and 24.

@dachary Hi Loic, thanks, great job!! Tonight i’ll read attentively the 10th transcript containing the scope of new questions and i’ll send you the improvements to address your remarks.

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@dachary Hi, sorry for the late answer. Here are some comments and propositions for the interview N°10:

  1. Work environment : the questions about the topic choice would be interesting to add to better understand work conditions and constraints
  2. Several questions about role of opinion in journalistic information (“Whether journalists should necessarily provide, in addition to reliable information, their personal viewpoint on a topic/situation?” and further questions): I think it’d interesting to clearly separate between the journalist’s personal opinion and the presentation of different opinions of other concerned parties along the topic presentation. Both informations are very valuable!
  3. Comprehension problem: this question was asked twice with two different answers “How often do you mobilize your ancient sources of information?”…
  4. “What are the main threats to ethical and quality journalism today? and What are the main risks and problems associated to investigative journalism? are perceived as the same question. Is there maybe a way to reword them so they are not?” Ok! Here is my proposition: after the questions “About the tools” to ask “Does the use of these tools can help to resolve some problems and risks of investigative journalism?” (This question will replace the initial one: "Whether and how the use of these tools can impact the quality of journalistic information? ")
  5. I agree about fakes and ok for the rewording you propose
  6. Two last questions may provide interesting insights about the role of readers and regulators in support of quality journalism. I propose to keep them: • Would you agree that interaction with readers is essential for the existence of ethical and quality journalism? Why/how?
    • Whether and how regulators could support the quality journalism development?

More generally, i think the results provide really interesting and rich information! Thank you very much, Loic. I’ll glad to analyze the other transcripts !

Hi Inna,

No worries about the not-so-long delay :wink: It’s a pleasure working with you.

What are the “questions about the topic choice”?

That sounds sensible indeed. How do you propose we rephrase this? You are welcome to modify the script yourself but I’m also happy to copy/paste your suggestions.

Good catch. The second question was Loïc: So you stay in touch with the sources for long period of time? I tend to copy/paste the questions from the script when the way I word them is only slightly different. In this case it was just a mistake on my part.

I replaced as you suggested.

I agree. And only now do I realize I skipped them for some reason. I think it was because the file I used missed them. My bad.

Thanks for the questions: they are a great way to better understand how journalists related to their work.

  • About your work environement:
    • Are you free to choose topics to work on and work schedule?
    • What are the main criteria of topic’s choice?
    • Do you think that readers’ interests are really taken into account in the topic choice?
    • Do you use google trends or other web analytic tools before starting a new topic?

I made the following modifications in the script
## About your vision of today’s journalism, its role and its main challenges
New questions:

  • What is the main feature(s) of investigative journalism in comparison to non investigative journalism?
    -In the case of investigative journalism what is the “right” equilibrium between facts and opinions of different concerned parties?
  • An investigative journalist working on a topic, does he also provide his own personal viewpoint on this topic?
  • May there be any contradiction between journalistic objectivity and journalistic fairness?

Is it clearer now, what do you think?

Shoot, I also missed those.

I like the new questions and updated the script accordingly. It would help define journalistic objectivity and journalistic fairness, in case the interviewee asks what it means. When asking the question I will first phrase it as is and maybe journalists already have ideas on both these topics. But in case they are not sure what the question is for, it would help to explain a little more by defining these. Does that make sense?

I thought i’ve updated the script! i still need to learn how to use your communication tools, sorry for this)))
Concerning the journalistic objectivity and fairness, let’s see what it gives us. It’d interesting to get journalists’ interpretation without orienting too much their viewpoint. Inspired by the answers of N°10, in my mind journalistic “fairness” is personal, so in certain way one may talk about lack of “neutrality” (“objectivity”)

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@Inna It took a few weeks but the two interview transcript pending were approved by the journalists today. These were two of the the three interviews I made to exercise the new questions you introduced (p20 & p24). Enjoy!