Friday, October 15, 2010

Off to Yale--with interview advice for young journalists

Steven Brill is teaching my book Columbine to his Yale journalism class this semester, and asked me to come speak to them, so of course I said yes. I have admired him for ages, and I've never been to Yale. (Definitely not invited.)

We set a date for October, and it's here Monday. I'm actually headed up on the train Sunday night. I'm also doing a Master's Tea on Monday, and a lunch with one group of students, and a dinner with another.

(Yale is apparently broken out into twelve "college" like Hogwarts (or vice versa), and Pierson College will be hosting my tea. I like that. Feeling very Harry Potter-ish. Haha.)

So much to get done, though. I usually just wing these things, as I've done them a million times, but . . . Steve is really interested in interviews, and wants me convey some key ideas. I got excited talking to him about it this summer. It's really a core skill, doing it well, that a lot of journalists never really master.

(If it felt like a great interview, it wasn't. It should feel like a conversation.)

So I've been mulling, and this morning I dug through my old interview files and I have a million ideas.

I've created to cheat sheets--one on mechanics, one on getting people to talk. I'll share them here once I finalize them. Probably next week.

I'm excited already, though. Talking to students always invigorates me.


  1. Good Luck, Dave! You will be spellbinding. (bad Hogwarts joke)

  2. Haha. Thanks.

    I wonder how they feel about the Hogwarts comparison.

    That structure is probably also standard out here in the east, but I'm a midwestern boy, and it's new to me. (And the northeast is the last major region of the country I had never lived in. NYC feels like home, but took me a long time to get here.)