The most natural places to meet people reporter barely know may include a coffee shop or restaurant, and they might work for some interviews. Noise and distraction are surely not friends when it comes to interviewing, but environmental context is. Try someone's home or office, or a place that relates to the story. One of the keys to good interviewing is to report beyond the answers and record the environment, how reporter's subject moves and dresses, and what do they act like in their "real" world. For live interviewing, that means dressing so that someone feels like reporter respect themself as much as he/she need him or her to respect the reporter. Interviews via email eliminate the ability to ask follow up questions as the conversation is happening. The power of observation in an interview is so important.