The interview is one of the—if not the—most important tools we as journalists have to obtain information, to expand on information we may have from other sources, and to clarify facts and see things from different perspectives. We use the interview to expand upon the basic “who, what, where, how, when and why” of newsgathering. This is true whatever beat we may be covering: health, economics, politics, or issues having to do with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In June 2013, we invited our colleagues in the Global Investigative Journalism Network to name the book-length works of journalism, scholarship, and even fiction that had influenced their practice as investigators. The resultant list isn’t comprehensive – though we invite you to help complete it by sending us your favorites, including full title, authors, publication or broadcast date, a one-line bio to identify yourself so we can give you credit, and two or three lines that explain why you find a given work special. (Let someone else recommend your own stuff, please.)
Throughout much of the world, journalists’ legal rights of expression and access to information are ever-changing — and physical harm or financial injury are too often common. So it is some comfort to know that there are organizations willing to defend those legal rights established by regional, national, and international laws. Legal aid organizations may be limited, however, serving only a specific geographic region or limited to a specific area of law. Here are several well-established groups that specialize in getting legal assistance for journalists, as well as other helpful resources:
Media Legal Defence Initiative (International)
This global nongovernmental organization helps defend the rights of reporters across continents and across platforms — from print to broadcast and on line. The London-based group works with a network of legal defense organizations around the world, with individual lawyers and will also pay legal fees if necessary.