President Michael Drake paid a visit to The Lantern’s newsroom earlier this week. In light of that, I thought it would be worthwhile to share the way we conduct these types of interviews in the hopes of opening that door to our readers and making the process more transparent.
The way that we’ve conducted these interviews in the time I’ve been on The Lantern’s staff — since fall 2012 — is about the same way that we did this time.
About once per semester, sometimes more and sometimes less, the president, or occasionally an Ohio State administrator, schedules a time with us when they’ll come to our newsroom for an interview. Typically we’re scheduled for an hour together, though sometimes we end up having more or less time. In preparation for that interview, Lantern staff members submit questions to the editor-in-chief for her or him to seed through, narrow down and prioritize. In doing so, the editor thinks about what things like what the community needs answers about and what stories The Lantern is working on that could use that individual’s voice in the coming months.
The day of, we as a staff gather around our table in the center of the newsroom with our printed list of questions. That list is never given to the interviewee ahead of time. The interviewee then arrives, usually with some media relations staff in tow, and we go around asking questions off of our prepared list. But we don’t stop at those questions — we ask again when a question isn’t answered, we ask follow-ups, and we sometimes improvise additional questions.
We audio record the interview and have photographers take photos during it, and often we have access to video-record the interview as well. This time we did not have that particular access.
I’ve enjoyed these interviews throughout my time here because it’s a time when we’re allowed to ask some of the most influential people at the university what we want to know, in person. I’m happy with the way we run them, though I’m always thinking of how to improve the way we do things, so the process might be different in the future.
As always, please leave your suggestions and feedback in our comments section or feel free to email me. Your ideas are always welcome.