Monday, May 02, 2011


Is it just me or do others feel this way? I hate this new trend in journalism of the emailed interview. I get asked to do interviews regularly, from students writing papers for class to bloggers, magazines, and newsletters, and 99% of all interviewers now email their questions for me to answer. And I absolutely hate it. Honestly, I feel it takes me more time to answer in an email than a phone call would take; I feel it completely removes any personality from the interview; and, as a former journalist, I just feel it's plain lazy.

Frankly, I'm doing fewer and fewer interviews because emailing my answers takes longer and more work on my part, more work than it takes the journalist honestly. The journalist is throwing five questions on a page and sending them to me. I'm spending an hour answering those questions so they can be used in a simple cut and paste, and, honestly, as I'm typing this I'm becoming more and more annoyed by the process.

I'm happy to do interviews. I'm happy to teach people what I know about publishing and to talk about publishing. In fact, I LOVE talking about publishing, but I love a discussion, and emailing your questions is not a discussion. It does not allow for follow-up questions and it's not a true interview. So I have a new policy. If you want to interview me and if I feel I have the time to participate I will, but I will only give interviews over the phone.