After Reading


Ask the class to go through the chapter and list methods that the reporters used to confirm information and ensure accuracy.

Story Tone

Discuss the dispute between the reporters and their editors over the reporters" concern that writing about the atrocities in context of the dangers and pressures the Tigers experienced would make the story "go crybaby."


As Nigel Jaquiss at the Willamette Week did, Sallah and Weiss recorded several telephone conversations with their sources without telling them. In two cases, they posted the audio on The Blade"s website so that any reader could hear it. Although that is legal in Ohio, do you think their actions were fair and ethical, especially when the interviewees lived out of state and would not be expected to know about Ohio"s laws? Compare and contrast the similarities of their need to record the conversations with Nigel Jaquiss" circumstances.


1. From reading the various interview dialogues, describe how Sallah"s interview style differs from that of Weiss?

2. Second-guess Sallah"s decision to change the subject rather than let Spc. Carpenter reveal the story to him off the record. Discuss the meaning of the term, the dangers in using it and how to ensure that you and the source have no misunderstanding.

3. Sallah stresses the importance of conducting interviews face-to-face whenever possible. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of face-to-face interviews versus telephone and e-mail interviews. Discuss as specifically as you can what reporters should look for in body language and eye contact and how that can help them in the interview and afterward when they are assessing its results.

4. When Sallah first talked to Rion Causey via telephone, Sallah sensed that Causey wanted to open up, yet Sallah chose not to interview him then; instead he flew to California where Causey lived. Discuss the risks that a reporter takes when he doesn"t seize an opportunity when it presents itself.

5. How can records help you in an interview?

6. Identify five specific instances where advanced preparation or records helped Sallah and Weiss in their interviews.

7. From a review of the interviewing techniques you read in this chapter, you saw that Mitch Weiss valued developing a rapport with interviewees. Discuss some of the ways he accomplished that. What are some of your ideas?

8. Reporters are supposed to keep their distance and independence from sources but still gain their trust and confidence. Frequently Sallah and Weiss would give their sources information and news about their former comrades to help establish a relationship. At times, it seemed as if the reporters had become friends. Discuss the source"reporter relationship and the professional issues that arise if reporters get too close to their sources.

9. List five interviewing techniques you found in this chapter.

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