Communications/Resource center/Press/Having an effective interview with a reporter/ca

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Communications Resource Center

Sharing knowledge on Wikimedia communications — Please add!

Recruiting volunteers to be interviewed

  • Informing the community for the media outreach opportunity on the local Village Pump is "the wiki way" of doing it, but since this is asynchronous and often non-personally-addressed communication, it may not work well in urgent cases.
  • In such cases, checking the Recent changes for editors who are currently online and fit within the expected profile, is the better tactics.
  • Another option is to contact the spokespersons via a social network, like a Facebook group. People tend to check their Facebook quite often and get immediate personal notifications.
  • Do not procrastinate, media are in a hurry. Define strict deadlines, but also encourage participation.

Comença amb els temes bàsics

  • Molta gent no sap com funciona la Viquipèdia. Tingues en compte alguns fets clau:
    • Tothom pot editar! Està feta per gent com tu i com jo.
    • 75.000 contribuïdors voluntaris mensuals a tot el món
    • En moltes llengües
    • Sense ànim de lucre amb dotzenes d'organitzacions comunitàries

Arm yourself with statistics

  • Even when they do not understand them, journalists LOVE numbers. Experience shows that journalists often approach Wikipedians for interviews, without making their preliminary research on the topic, or they have some vague / fragmentary / biased ideas of the community that stays behind Wikipedia. Almost always, especially when this is their first encounter with a Wikipedian, they want to clarify their vague idea, so they want some quantitative, measurable and tangible orientations, i.e. numbers. Almost always they ask about the number of people in the community, and are often stricken with awe when they learn how little number of active volunteers actually keep in running, compared to the enormous number of users.


  • Intenta conèixer una mica el periodista abans de l'entrevista, si és possible. Què és el que tendeix a escriure? Quin és el seu estil d'escriptura i el seu to? Quant en sap, sobre la Viquipèdia i el moviment Wikimedia?
  • Investiga les seves publicacions per tenir una idea de la seva audiència. Informa principalment sobre històries tecnològiques ? Històries sobre persones (d'interès humà)? Sobre una ciutat o una regió en particular? Això t'ajudarà a saber quines preguntes et podria fer el periodista, o com es podria representar la Viquipèdia i el moviment.

Tingues un missatge principal clar - diga'l aviat i amb freqüència

  • Tingues el missatge principal clar en ment durant tota l'entrevista, i no tinguis por de fer-hi referència diverses vegades per assegurar-te que el públic recordi el punt principal o missatge.
  • Fes respostes curtes i simples. No creguis que has de seguir parlant per omplir els buits o moments de silenci.
  • Relaxa't! A vegades, poques paraules són més poderoses que una resposta llarga i incoherent.

Sigues honest, creïble, sigues tu mateix

  • Sigues honest. Recolza les teves declaracions amb exemples si és possible.
  • Parla sobre el que saps - evita parlar d'una cosa que no estàs familiaritzat.
  • Si no saps la resposta a una pregunta, no tinguis por a dir que tornaràs a contactar amb l'entrevistador, o remet la qüestió a un altre company que podria tenir més experiència en aquest assumpte.

Fes exemples i explica històries

  • Una història personal ben explicada, o un exemple de la vida real, és gairebé sempre més poderós que una xifra. Intenta relacionar el que dius amb alguna cosa que hagis experimentat.
  • Si vols utilitzar una dada estadística, assegura't només d'utilitzar-ne una i que recolza fermament el teu missatge principal.
  • Fonamenta idees i missatges abstractes amb un clar exemple que il·lustri el nostre discurs. Això també et pot permetre parlar més obertament amb el reporter.

Fes-ho fàcil

  • Facilita la vida al periodista. Si el reporter necessita un aclariment addicional i recursos sobre temes complicats, envia-li més informació si creus que li podria servir.
  • Tingues present que temes que et poden semblar naturals pots els altres no hi estiguin familiaritzats. Intenta evitar l'ús d'argot o termes tècnics, inclús paraules com "API" o "SSL". Si utilitzes un terme tècnic, ofereix una breu explicació de la paraula a la que et refereixes. (Llevat que, per descomptat, estiguis parlant amb un reporter de tecnologia).

Bring a laptop (in the best case, one with wiki stickers all over the lid)

  • In addition to bringing a laptop, try to and arrange the meeting in a free wi-fi zone. You will not only be able to answer to specific questions and show statistics that require access to Wikipedia/Wikimedia, but the journalist will take with pleasure a photo of you editing Wikipedia in real time on your wiki-nerdish machine.

Practica, practica i practica

  • Pensa per avançat preguntes que el periodista et podria fer, i practica les respostes
  • Escalfa't! Demanaa un amic o company que et faci preguntes just abans de l'entrevista i ja estaràs en l'estat d'ànim adequat.
  • Tingues un parell d'exemples o fets a punt per recolzar el missatge que vol transmetre, però enfoca't a tenir clar en el teu principal missatge.

Try to form long-lasting relationships with journalists

  • Some journalists, especially from monthly and weekly printed media, do not suffer from limitations of time, and they can spend much more time interviewing you and exploring Wikipedia. Once they finish with their list of top-of-mind evergreen questions, they may already be so enthralled that you may propose some form of longer lasting collaboration.
  • For instance, you may plan together the next interview in relation to the Wikipedia Day, 15 January, or the birthday of your local version of Wikipedia, or a forthcoming Wikimania, or some other regionally significant wiki event. Journalists love to have particular occasions, as this increases the chances for their material to get published and make it through the intensive newsfeed.
  • You can propose a series of publications or interviews that give a detailed overview of the multifaceted topic of Wikipedia (more probable with radio, print media, online media).
  • You can suggest a content–donation collaboration, where their media releases in Commons some part of their multimedia database under a compatible free license. It is reasonable to propose such an idea, only provided that a positive relationship has already been formed not only with the individual journalist, but also with some other media representatives from the hierarchy above him/her.

Make your own recording of the interview

This helps in many ways.

  • First, you will have a record of the interview, even if for some reason the media refuses or forgets to provide you with their copy.
  • Second, study your behavior retroactively, and try to define and correct your weaknesses and mistakes.
  • Third, applicable mainly to printed media: Place your audio recording device on the table right next to the journalist's one, and do not make your recording secretly. When the journalist is aware that you have your own copy of the interview, when preparing their text, they will be especially careful to not alter your words in a way that you cannot recognize them. You too have a proof of what exactly has been said.

Ask to review the text before publication

  • Especially if it is the journalist's first interaction with the wiki world, there will inevitably be many words and concepts, which we, Wikimedians, use on a daily basis, but which have remained unclear for the journalist. Kindly ask for permission to have a look at the material prior to its publication, and be ready for any reaction between the offended refusal and the grateful consent.
  • Some journalists may feel their freedom of speech threatened upon such a request, or may excuse with the argument of adhering to their media's editorial policy. Make sure that you request it only for the purpose of verifying the wiki terminology, and do not introduce significant changes, unless you have explicitly agreed upon this possibility with the journalist.