Interviewing People

image courtesy British Council Russia
058851d3 seeable

Taught by Jessica Gross

Jessica Gross is a freelance writer in New York. She writes for The New York Times Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, The Paris Review Daily, and other places, and has interviewed novelists, actors, psychoanalysts, chefs, musicians, academics, film directors, cartoonists, her grandmother, a professional live storyteller, and a former spy.

 

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Are you aching to ask a family member about her childhood, but don’t know where to start? Itching to query your neighbor about the decade he spent in China, or an exterminator about what it’s like to kill bugs for a living? Are you a journalist looking to deepen your interview practice? Then this is the class for you.

In this one-session class, we’ll focus on how to question and listen in a way that sheds light on who your interviewee really is. (We won’t focus on interviews meant to garner factual information, skewer or entrap the interviewee, or stay on the fluffy surface.) We’ll look at examples of excellent interviews, go over good practices and technique tips, and take some time for group exercises. Please note we won't discuss the technical aspects of capturing interviews. 

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