From Mainstream to New Media: Finding Common Ground to Grow Participatory Democracy

“This page includes quesetions to be used by participants in the Jan. 11-12, 2006 Journalism That Matters workshop in Memphis, Tenn., to conduct pre-meeting interviews.”

Introduction by Peggy Holman

Some say the work begins the moment the idea is formed. We invite you into an inquiry to help shape the ideas that guide our work in Memphis by spending an hour by telephone before the session with one other participant, engaging in creative inquiry about the themes underlying the session. The purpose is twofold:

* To begin to know another person and appreciate both diverse and common perspectives
* To ground our work in the meeting’s themes using an activity fundamental to journalism: storytelling

Interview pairs are listed below. We’ve done our best to pair journalists and media reform participants. Please contact your interview partner to arrange a time. We KNOW everyone is busy; we believe taking the time for this will accelerate our work.

Below are some questions you can use. Feel free to ask other questions as you wish. Our suggestion is that one person act as interviewer for all four questions and then swap.

After your conversation, please share a few highlights by posting them on the special ‘interview highlights’ wiki pagewe’ve set up.
If you have questions, please call or email.

See you soon!

Peggy Holman
/ Bellevue, Wash.
/ (425) 746-6274

The questions

“Your task is to interview the other person and draw out their story so that they relive not only the facts, but the “music” – the feelings, the energy, the excitement, the color, of their story.”

* 1. Each of us has been associated with at least one media story that we experienced as particularly effective; a story that had great productive impact; in other words, a story that mattered. Tell me about a story you were involved with or were touched by that comes to mind. What made it such a powerful experience? What effect did it have on its audience? What effect did it have on you? What made it possible to do?

* 2. Without being humble, what do you value most about yourself as a contributor to journalism? That gifts do you see yourself bringing to this meeting?

* 3. What is it about journalism without which it would cease to be journalism; what is its essential core? What are we ready to let go of?

* 4. What three wishes do you have for the future of journalism?

Summarizing the interview

Capture your reflections on the interview using this outline or something like it:

# What meaning did you take from the interview process?
# Please share a standout story or quote.
# What surprised, challenged, inspired, and/or delighted you about the interview?