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I don't believe in 'gotcha'

Saturday, May 05, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named berkeleyPath.jpgI don't believe in the mythological "gotcha" moment reporters like to dream about, for a couple of reasons.  Permalink to this paragraph

1. I've never seen it happen, in years of being interviewed, and knowing people who are often interviewed. I've never seen a reporter ask a question and get an answer that revealed something unusual that was actually understood by the reporter, and made its way into print in a form a reader could use.  Permalink to this paragraph

2. I've seen really interesting juicy stories out there, ready to be reported, on the record, attributable, with dozens of supposedly ambitious and relentless fact-diggers swarming all around, and instead of going for the gusto, they cling to the safe tried-and-true nauseatingly boring and insignificant overtold bedtime stories. Permalink to this paragraph

In other words, if you fancy yourself a Woodward or Bernstein, stop boasting and go out and do some work and take some risks. Until then I don't see why you need to talk to someone for 25 minutes for a 12-second soundbite. I don't see who that serves. I don't think very much listening is happening in that process. I think if the subject spent the 25 minutes blogging instead, the world would be a much better place for it. Permalink to this paragraph

So here's a question for the reporters who may be listening. Did you learn anything in the discussion about interviews, or did we just talk over each others' heads?  Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 5/5/2007; 7:23:08 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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