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August 2019

Sneak Peek of Interviewing: The Oregon Method

Interviewing: The Oregon Method (2nd edition), edited by Peter Laufer with John Russial, is one of our newest fall selections. With additional chapters featuring information for both digital and traditional journalism, it instructs readers on the art of interviewing. And what better way to share the best of the guide than by featuring our favorite parts? Here are seven stand-out tips from the faculty at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and other experts:

  1. “Cornelius Ryan, the novelist who wrote The Longest Day, said one of the basic rules of reporting was that you should ‘never interview anyone without knowing 60 percent of the answers’” (“The Art of the Interview,” Jack Hart, page 39)
  2. “If you catch sources in a lie, your impulse will be to call them out. Don’t—at least not right away. Your goal should be to keep sources talking until they’ve shared all the relevant details. That’s because the moment you confront them, they’ll likely get defensive.” (“How to Interview Somebody Who’s Lying,” Todd Milbourn, page 72)
  3. “The rules of interview discourse and interpersonal exchange have changed with the times. Contemporary audiences don’t want to be ‘talked to’; they want to be ‘engaged with.’ Engagement implies higher levels of participation and less formality. This is the essence of rapport.” (“Creating Rapport,” Ed Madison, page 202)
  4. “In many of my encounters with people in grief, my ‘technique’ was simply showing up and shutting up. That’s my five-word crash course on the topic. The showing up part is critical. It’s the one aspect that we have control over.” (“god bless the ded,” Alex Tizon, page 232)
  5. “Try this exercise: Sit down as you normally would, and write all the regular first-line questions that you expect to ask in your next interview. Then don’t ask any of those questions. This is going to force you to find new lines of questioning that will reveal facets of the story that are usually left unexplored.” (“Please Don’t Ask That Again,” Michael Swan Laufer, page 340)
  6. “Interviewing—if interviewing means asking questions to get responses—does have a function, albeit limited: If you want a quick opinion about something you deem important, a quote or a sound bite to fit into a story, then ask the appropriate person. Otherwise, I would suggest that journalists consider more authentic, more thoughtful ways of delving into the personality and the peccadilloes, the motivations and challenges, the beliefs, attitudes, quirks (you name it) of a person important to the story they are crafting.” (“Re-Thinking the Interview,” Lauren Kessler, page 377)
  7. “Control the architecture of the interview venue. Don’t accept a seat on a low couch while the interviewee choreographs a dominant role behind the massive desk.” (“Epilogue,” Peter Laufer, page 396)

OSU Press Griffis Interns List Their Summer Reads

We are excited to announce our new interns for the 2019-2020 academic school year! Get to know Isaiah Holbrook and Ashley Hay and what OSU Press books they are currently reading for the summer.

 

Isaiah

 

I’m a second-year MFA candidate at OSU where I study fiction. My writing veers more into Young Adult literature as I explore themes of identity, queerness, and religion, and the complexities that derive from them. I also find myself writing about the concept of family, specifically motherhood, and examining family dynamics that differ from mine. As an avid reader, I am most attracted to YA novels, especially ones that tread along the intersections of identity, power dynamics in a relationships, feminism, activism, and the process of recovering from trauma. Outside of my genre, I’m becoming more familiar with nonfiction, specifically narrative essays and memoirs, on similar topics.

 

cover image, Wet Engine The Wet Engine by Brian Doyle: Because of my curiosity to read in more genres, I was elated when I ran across this book. What intrigues me about nonfiction is the challenge to interconnect multiple threads that don’t seem to correlate at first into the central theme of the story, and Brian Doyle does just that. He examines the intricacies of the heart in a physical and metaphorical sense, outlining the ways in which a heart functions, which all tie into the story of his son’s heart deficiency, the surgery he had to endure, and the doctor who saved his son’s life. Within the first few pages, I was immediately drawn into his knowledge of the heart and the kind of lyricism that his writing imposes, and I can’t wait to finish this book.

 

cover image, Interviewing

Interviewing: The Oregon Method (2nd Edition) edited by PeterLaufer and John Russial: One of my favorite things about minoring in Communications during my undergraduate years was learning the art of the interview and seeing the ways in which different journalists approach their interviews; this book covers both of these interests and more. Peter Laufer, with the help of his colleagues, gives readers an insight into interviewing and the various approaches one can take to have a successful and constructive interview. This will be particularly helpful for me as I conduct interviews with authors for The Rumpus, so I’m really excited to dive more deeply into this book and receive some helpful approaches that will be useful for me later on.

 

cover image, Aurora

Aurora by J. J. Kopp: I’m constantly looking forward to reading a different perspective of adolescence, especially ones that subvert from my own experiences, and this story captures just that. Told in an epistolary form of diary entries, J. J. Kopp’s historical novel details the life of thirteen-year-old Aurora Keil and her experiences living in Missouri, exploring the Oregon Trail, and relocating to Oregon with her parents and eight siblings, where her father eventually started a utopian community of over six hundred people. This book not only highlights the voice of a young adult but also recognizes an integral part of Oregon’s history. 


 

 

 

Ashley


I’m an undergraduate at Oregon State University studying Speech Communications and Psychology. I’m fascinated by the impact of the stories we tell in our daily lives: right now my research projects include the modern fairy tale and archetypes in romance novels. In addition to my work at OSU Press, I’m an Undergraduate Writing Consultant at the Research & Writing Studio on campus and an intern at the International Women’s Writing Guild, both of which allow me to help shape the creative and collaborative writing processes of others. In the upcoming year, I’m eager to bring my creative and professional skills to support authors on their journeys toward publishing, and look forward to learning as much as I can from OSU Press! 

cover image, Homing Instincts

 

Homing Instincts by Dionisia Morales: I’m about to enter my final year as anundergraduate at OSU, and the inevitable question I encounter, from family and well-meaning strangers alike, is where will you go next? So Morales’ collection of essays about her own journey moving across the country—from New York to Oregon—piqued my interest (and not only because I’ve hopped states myself). With thoughtfulness and clarity, she explores the issues of migrating, settling in, changing, and ultimately, establishing a new home. As a soon-to-be-newcomer in some unknown place, I’m looking forward to diving in and learning from another person’s experiences. 

 


cover image, Turning Down the SoundTurning Down the Sound by Foster Church: The theme of movement continues! Not only am I looking to explore new places to (potentially) settle down in, I’m also an avid traveler and curious wanderer. My favorite trips are always those that allow me to immerse myself in a new place and meet the people who live there, and Church’s collection of small towns in Washington seems like an excellent guide to encourage just that. I appreciate that he writes not just about the features of each town, but also the attitudes of its inhabitants. There are so many unique facets of this book—its emphasis on small towns, its holistic approach to summarizing them, its essay-like formatting—that I’m already mentally packing my bags (and hiking boots). 


cover image, The Way of the Woods   The Way of the Woods by Linda Underhill: Speaking of hiking boots…part philosophicalreflection, part scientific exploration, Underhill’s book is a study of American forests and her place in them. Like Church’s book, Underhill also imparts an antsy message of movement and wonder. However, unlike Church or Morales, Underhill also explores the sacred—and asks her audience to join her in reigniting our spiritual connection with the natural world. This book calls to me both as an inspirational nudge and a fascinating glimpse into another’s experiences in nature. I make no promises that after this, I won’t just pull a Thoreau and leave the city life behind. (Sorry in advance, OSU Press.)

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