Interviewing for Story (Online)


Interviews form the basis of most documentary projects, and what creators are able to unearth during interviews often has a profound effect on what they’re able to produce in the end—the more fruitful the dialogue, the richer the finished product. In this course, students will learn interviewing skills, including how to research and prepare, formulate questions, and ask effective follow-ups, as well as how to transcribe and edit, figure out what the story is, and otherwise make use of the content they glean. In addition to analyzing and discussing interviews and pieces that make use of them, students will practice interviewing on their own and explore different ways of bringing the material they gather to life. By the end, students will develop—and receive feedback on—a written profile or an audio, video, or captioned-photo project that incorporates the interviews they’ve conducted. They will walk away with the skills to interview effectively and the confidence and ability to tell deeper, more compelling stories. (12 hours / All levels)

Please note: This course is offered in an online format and will not meet at CDS but will instead take place in regularly scheduled virtual sessions.

NOTE: There will be NO CLASS on Thursday, October 31.

Christina Cooke is associate editor at the daily food-policy website Civil Eats and a Durham-based freelance journalist who writes about people, place, and culture for venues including the New Yorker, the Atlantic, the New York Times, and the Oxford American. Previously, she worked as a staff writer for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Cooke finds herself drawn to tell stories at the fringes of society, about people who are offbeat and unconventional, passionate and obsessed. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction writing from Portland State University and is a graduate of the nonfiction writing program at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies.


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