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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Steven G Scher
COM 351
Seattle Campus

Interviewing Principles and Practices

Interviewing principles and practices, with emphasis on information gathering, selection, and persuasive interviews. Purposes and types of interviews, structure of interviews, and influence of communication patterns on interview outcomes.

Class description

The interview is at the core of journalism. You want to find out something from someone. The interviewee may seem reluctant to tell you what you want to know. She may be unwilling. He may not even seem able to tell you what you want or need to know. There are subjects who would like to spend the entire interview telling you what they want to convey, while avoiding answering your questions. There are people who may even be trying to tell you what they think you want to hear, but without honestly considering your question. You may be talking to people who are emotionally cut off from their own feelings, or people who are culturally confused by your questions.

This class will try to guide you through the thicket of these confusing responses. It will give you the tools to be a better interviewer. The skills you learn in conducting an effective interview will help you in many disciplines, as we shall explore in this class. We will consider preparation, attitude, even posture and body language.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

We will work in class on interviewing exercises. In addition, there will be required interviews on subjects of the students choice, in class interviewing of guest experts and examination of a variety of interviewers techniques.

Recommended preparation

Curiosity, empathy and good listening skills are a good background. Watching and reading interviews from non-fiction sources, radio and television will help.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Steven G Scher
Date: 06/15/2010