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How to interview people as a Citizen Journalist
True to its name Citizen Journalism is journalism when ordinary citizens step into a reporter's..

NOWADAYS, CITIZENS don’t believe in being mere consumers of news stories presented by traditional news sources such as newspaper, news channels and radio, instead, they have a preference to become news generator / publisher by capturing, reporting and sharing news stories and events, which they think are of importance to them and the society. Though one doesn’t require a degree or a certificate to become a citizen journalist , yet clarity in thoughts and idea about stories one wishes to cover or report is of vital importance. After all, reporting a political speech, a government meeting or a neighborhood event requires some basic journalistic skills so that the result - the story - is written professionally and is read with interest and trust.

As a Citizen Journalist one can also interview people apart from carrying out direct reporting. For example, one can interview an elected official of the municipal corporation, the city councilor/ mayor or people you find have made a name for themselves, and then share the same on websites that encourage Citizen Journalism . Once you decide whom you wish to interview and on what topic, the next step is to follow the below listed guidelines to get execute the interview:

Prepare the Questionnaire

Prepare a questionnaire related to the topic you wish to interview the person on. Remember, the questionnaire must not comprise of more than 8 question if the interview is via email or telephonic and not more than 10 if it’s a face-to-face interview. [Tip: keep the questionnaire short and precise because time constraint is a big concern].

Dig out the Contact Details

Next, find out the contact details of the person you plan to interview. The contact details could be email Id, mobile/telephone (personal/official). Google search is one way to source these details.

Connect

Once, you have the contact details in hand connect with the person and explain your idea behind the interview and understand their interest and willingness towards the same. There is a likelihood that you may have to co-ordinate with the Assistant or Personal secretary of the person you wish to interview to schedule an appointment.

Send Email, Call or Visit

If the concerned person has agreed for a telephonic or personal interview, ask him for a convenient date and time [Tip: Make sure that you call or visit on the decided time], and if the person agrees for an email interview drop him a properly drafted mail along with the questionnaire.

Follow up

Send a follow up mail if the interview is via email. Finally, once the interview is published send a Thank You mail along with the link of the interview if published online.

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