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The interview, the basic active ingredient of news and features involving the asking of questions and recording of answers either in writing (preferably using shorthand) or on tape depending on the medium (Harcup, 2004: 95), has been the mainstay of reporting for the past 100 years. Face-to-face and telephone have been the main methods of inquiry in order to obtain quotes, which can add authority and drama (ibid.: 103), email now being another technique (Reddick and King, 2001: 79). The interview can be a brief telephone conversation, a lengthy chat over a meal, a live talk (pre-arranged or otherwise) or some questions answered by fax or email (Harcup, 2004: 95). It could be a ‘doorstep’, which involves waiting at the home of a person in ...

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