The Devolution of Journalism's Methods

Is an e-mail interview a real interview? There are pros and cons to conducting interviews via email, rather than in person, or over the phone. The American Journalism Review discusses this issue at lenght in Inbox Journalism.

"...while many journalists laud e-mail's speed and efficiency, others remain leery of using it to conduct interviews, citing it as less transparent and credible than more traditional reporting methods. Using e-mail interviews may eliminate rounds of phone tag, but skeptics say it also eliminates the candor, spontaneity and natural dialogue that make for engaging conversations and compelling stories."

Investigative Reporters and Editors director, Brant Houston says, "with in-person, telephone and e-mail interviews alike, inherent skepticism is always critical," and "teaching good habits of verification is just as important as how the interview is conducted. "I think being savvy comes down to being savvy in all media."

[American Journalism Review]

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