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Questions About Module 1

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Hi Everyone!

I sincerely enjoyed our call reviewing Module 1 together and am looking forward to continuing our discussions.

I hope that your first assignment is going well. If you have any questions about the information in the module, please post them here, and I will answer them.

I am honored to work with you all, and I look forward to reading your profiles!

Best,
Maura

Comments

Listening to the presentation and also answers to the questions posed by fellow correspondents who were able to join the call, were very helpful in my write up.

I have posted my Profile on Faiza.

I did not select a high profile activist as they have already been heard about. Therefore chose to profile someone who can be a role model to the average women.
Another reason for my choice was the political divide in the Maldives that has grouped women into either belonging to this party or that. I wanted my profile to be a neutral one -- when people are affiliated to a certain political party, their thinking and attitude are somehow forced to stay within the party's ideologies and therefore sometimes lose pure community spirit.

I am wondering what an ideal length of interview or number of interactions it requires to write an in-depth profile of the chosen subject.

Salaam
Aminah

Maura Bogue's picture

Interview lengths

Hi Aminah!

Glad to hear you’re interested in inspiring, everyday people. It’s important for journalists to give voice to various types of people in order to portray their communities fully, and it sounds as if you’ve already started doing that. Great work.

As far as interviews, there is no set length. The purpose of the profile interview is to get to know the person as best as you can by asking the right questions. Start with basic questions such as: What is his/her profession? Where does he/she live? Where did he/she grow up? What is his/her family like?

Then, build on those basic questions with “why” follow-up questions that relate to the angle of your profile. For example: Why did he/she choose his/her profession? Why does he/she have the beliefs he/she has? Why is he/she passionate about the topic at hand? Why does he/she think the work he/she does or issue he/she is involved in is important?

Then get into his/her personal ideas or interests – try and get to the bottom of why he/she is newsworthy. What has he/she done that’s inspiring? What does he/she think about the condition of his/her community? What does he/she think about the issues surrounding him/her?

Together, these questions should help your audience to fully understand who the person is, what makes the person newsworthy, why the person is involved in the topic that makes him/her important and what the person hopes to accomplish through being involved in the topic of the profile.

Once you have done that, it’s important to interview two or three more people who know the person who can also explain why the person is newsworthy. Remember that it’s important to be ethical, bias-free and objective, so seek out people who may have varying opinions about the person you’re profiling. Maybe one person you interview works with the person you’re profiling. Maybe another is a family member. Maybe another is a member of the community. These interviews are the key to giving your readers a full, well-rounded, unbiased picture of the person you’re profiling.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions!

Best,
Maura

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