chapter  6
31 Pages

Gathering the Raw Material

ByMatthew Ricketson, Caroline Graham

The quantity of information freely available on the web would have been inconceivable to journalists working even twenty years ago. Student journalists often turn to secondary source material for research. Interviewing is the bread and butter of primary sources for most journalists so it’s worth taking a quick look here at where readers might find great interview sources before discussing how to approach and question them. Seasoned journalists often refer to over-consulted experts as ‘rent-a-quotes’, because they can be relied on to comment on just about anything while simultaneously pushing their own agendas and drumming up publicity for their own causes. Most elected representatives engage in direct contact with journalists and many have mobile phone numbers listed on their websites or a media manager to facilitate contact.