Hi Everyone,

Thank you for uploading your interview drafts. I am currently reviewing them and will have comments for you by the end of the week. When I edit your pieces, you should be notified via gmail I believe. Work from the files I edit to produce a final version. Some of you will need to get more information from your subjects, so you might want to share the interview with your partner, once I’ve commented on them.

Please contact me if you have not been able to make contact with your interview partner.

All interviews remain in our googledocs dropbox: HERE


Given the assignment I’ve asked you to work on, there is some irony that the big journalism story of the past week concerns the “cancelling” of the founding editor of Rolling Stone Magazine, Jann Wenner. Wenner and his magazine practically INVENTED the modern interview allowing Rock and Roll musicians to be taken seriously for the first time in the 1960 and 70s.  The importance of this magazine (founded in 1967) and genre cannot not be overstated. 

So, last week, Jenner gets interviewed by a New York Times reporter to discuss thoughts on his legacy. In the interview, Jenner really speaks his mind. When asked why he never interviewed a black or female musician, he flat out claims that none were sufficiently interesting enough to interview! What?!!?  Literally the next day, he is removed from the Board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (which he also founded) and becomes the talk of the town. 

A question I have for you is not whether Jenner deserved to be “cancelled” (the media is all over the place on this topic) but whether the journalist interviewing Jenner should have stepped in and “fixed” the interview to protect him.  As Jenner himself discussed in the interview, he always “cleaned up” his interviews with famous subjects such as John Lennon and Mick Jagger.

Here is the full story.  Also link to the original interview. It’s a helpful model to consider as you work on your own.

Jann Wenner’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Reign Ended in 20 Minutes – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

This story relates to our lesson of the week: the ethics of journalism.  While I do not ask that you post this week (concentrate on writing your interviews), I do ask that you read the following:

“The Elements of Journalism”

Society of Professional Journalists CODE OF ETHICS

“What is the Role of a Newspaper Anyway?”

Next week, we will return to discussing the issue of “journalism ethics” and the role of journalism more fully.