On my interview policy…

I’ve moved to email only interviews (with rare exceptions where I know the journalist and really trust them), and it’s worked out really great for me. Here is an interview with Greg (who I trust), that I did on the subject of email interviews.

I love Mark’s quote: “I don’t ever cede anything… you either know I have a blog when you interview me, or you are a dumbass. If you ask me not to report our exchange on my blog, which has been done, then I decide if I want that protection or not.”

Mark is spot on: how do you interview a blogger and not know and read their blog?! Hello?!

> What are your thoughts on the nature of the interview itself?

I like doing interviews on email, but I don’t like doing them on the
phone because I get misquoted often.

> Do you own your words, or do you voluntarily give them up in the
> process of the interview?

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By granting the interview I’m giving people permission to use my
words, but I still own them and can do what I want with them.

I make a call on a case-by-case basis.

If someone wants to own them exclusively they would need to have me
sign a release–like documentary filmmakers do.

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> Even if it’s the former, isn’t there a good faith assumption that you
> will grant the journalist as a sort of first right of refusal to your
> words, so they might print them at the time of their choosing in the
> context of their choosing?

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There is no agreement unless someone makes an agreement.

I tell folks I’m going to do it now, since one person got upset about
it (she didn’t read my blog, and I accidentally put her email in my
cut and paste–which I never do).

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> Doesn’t your publishing the interview instantaneously on your blog
> ruin the value of that interview for the journalist, who is
> essentially trading on the relative scarcity of your words and their
> relative value within the context of their stories?

“,1]);//–>

By granting the interview I’m giving people permission to use my
words, but I still own them and can do what I want with them.

I make a call on a case-by-case basis.

If someone wants to own them exclusively they would need to have me
sign a release–like documentary filmmakers do.


> Even if it’s the former, isn’t there a good faith assumption that you
> will grant the journalist as a sort of first right of refusal to your
> words, so they might print them at the time of their choosing in the
> context of their choosing?

There is no agreement unless someone makes an agreement.

I tell folks I’m going to do it now, since one person got upset about
it (she didn’t read my blog, and I accidentally put her email in my
cut and paste–which I never do).


> Doesn’t your publishing the interview instantaneously on your blog
> ruin the value of that interview for the journalist, who is
> essentially trading on the relative scarcity of your words and their
> relative value within the context of their stories?

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Not always. I don’t have MediaBistro’s audience coming to my blog, so
as far as 99% of your readers are concerned they are reading it for
the first time there. Of course, that percentage could change by news
source.

If someone wants me to hold back the interview until their story comes
out I’ll do that. I understand the value of information issue.

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> When do you feel it’s a appropriate to publish an interview yourself?

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Any time I want!

“,1]);D([“mb”,”


> Do you recommend the practice to other bloggers?

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Of course, it keeps journalists from quoting you out of context and
you get content for your blog. My blog exists so I can communicate
with my team, my family, my friends, and associates. Why should I have
to type these things up twice?!?!

“,1]);D([“mb”,”


> Do you ever discuss the matter with journalists beforehand as part of
> ground rules discussions?

“,1]);D([“mb”,”

I’ve started doing that, yes.

“,1]);//–>

Not always. I don’t have MediaBistro’s audience coming to my blog, so
as far as 99% of your readers are concerned they are reading it for
the first time there. Of course, that percentage could change by news
source.

If someone wants me to hold back the interview until their story comes
out I’ll do that. I understand the value of information issue.


> When do you feel it’s a appropriate to publish an interview yourself?

Any time I want!

> Do you recommend the practice to other bloggers?

Of course, it keeps journalists from quoting you out of context and
you get content for your blog. My blog exists so I can communicate
with my team, my family, my friends, and associates. Why should I have
to type these things up twice?!?!

> Do you ever discuss the matter with journalists beforehand as part of
> ground rules discussions?

I’ve started doing that, yes.

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> Have you ever stated a policy on your own site? (I haven’t been able
> to find one yet.)

“,1]);D([“mb”,”

No, I talk to people about it first.

I’ll publish this one on my blog right now, unless you tell me you
want to wait until your story comes out. 🙂

best j

“,0]);D([“mi”,0,3,”10ce9c1a755d2fa5″,1,”0″,”Greg Lindsay”,”Greg”,”greg@babelfish.net”,[[],[[“jason”,”jason@18.234.176.227″,”10ce9c1a755d2fa5″]],[]],”Aug 7″,[“”jason@18.234.176.227” “],[],[],[],”Aug 7, 2006 10:48 AM”,”Re: a story about the blogger/interviewer relationship”,””,[],1,,,”Mon Aug 7 2006_10:48 AM”,”On 8/7/06, Greg Lindsay wrote:”,”On 8/7/06, Greg Lindsay <greg@babelfish.net> wrote:”,,,,””,””,0,,””,0,,0,”In reply to “a story about the blogger/interviewer relationship””,0,0]);D([“mb”,”

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your answers; although please don’t publish them quite
yet. I’ll let you know when the story is sl
at
ed to appear; ideally
I’d like you to publish your comments that day and then link to the
finished piece. Thanks again,

“,1]);//–>


> Have you ever stated a policy on your own site? (I haven’t been able
> to find one yet.)

No, I talk to people about it first.

I’ll publish this one on my blog right now, unless you tell me you
want to wait until your story comes out. 🙂

best j

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