How To Do An Interview


Make sure you do your research before the interview or you’ll just make yourself look stupid.


  You need to decide how you’re going to record the interview. If the interview is a really short one, or you’re just interviewing one person, you can do it with a pen and paper. But if the interview is long, or you’re interviewing more than one person, a dictaphone, a digital recorder or phone will work fine.


Have a list of questions to ask the interviewee/subject. Have about 6-12 questions prepared. But, when interviewing, listen to what the interviewee is saying and don’t just ask the prepared questions like a script. For example, he may have made a good point, and you can use that chance to ask him to expand on that point, instead of asking them your next pre-prepared questions. An interview is like a conversation: let the convo flow and ask your pre-prepared questions when the interview is becoming repetitive or boring.


Even if the interviewee is saying things that you really disagree with, don’t start argument to prove them wrong. Your job is to ask questions.


“In your own words, can you tell me a little about your background?”

This is a very good warm up question because:

  • it gets the interviewee to open up and relax a little since they’re talking abou themselves
  • It’s a  chance to check and see if the audio is good on your recording device
  • It’s an open ended question – the interviewee could talk about their childhood, their tim in uni, their career etc.


You can get a bigger, longer better answer by asking an open ended question rather than a closed one.


You might stop them in their tracks when they’re about to say something really useful.


If they keep talking and you want them to stop, just tell them you have one final question. This lets them know the interview is almost done.


Even if you’ve already asked your final question, end the interview with “have you anything further that you’d like to add?” More often than not they’ll say np, but they might say something smart that hasn’t been covered in your questions.


In case you didn’t cover everything in your interview, you could always get in touch with the person you interviewed, thank them for the previous interview, and tell them how there’s one or two things you missed or there’s something you’d like to go over again. The interviewee may be happy to see that you want to make that effort to ensure everything is as it should be




Metaphors, Similies, idioms & Clichés: A Definitive Guide

  1. METAPHOR = a figure of speech that describes an object or action in a way that isn’t literally true, but helps explain an idea or make a comparison e.g Time is a thief – Time isn’t really stealing anything, this metaphor just indicates that time passes quickly and our lives pass us by.

    Metaphors can be deployed in journalism to great effect

2. SIMILE = a figure of speech that makes a comparison, showing similarities between two things, using words “like” “as” or “than” to do so e.g He is as cunning as a fox.

3. IDIOM = a figure of speech that has a certain meaning that is different from the meanings of each word on its own e.g it’s raining cats and dogs. Of course it isn’t literally raining cats and dogs, this just means it’s raining heavily. 

4. CLICHE = a figure of speech that has been so overused that it has become boring and unoriginal. Clichés are also dangerous to a writer because they tend to stereotype people and situations.


8 Ways A Feature is Different From A News Story

LONGER= A feature should be longer, because people want explanations, opinions and a little entertainment e.g the narrator in HXH described the fight between Netero and Meruem in great detail, which made the fight even more exciting and dramatic.


MORE INDIVIDUAL= A feature usually has interpretation, analysis and even comment.

MULTI-SOURCED= A feature needs several sources to make it more holistic.

STRUCTURE= A feature makes a tower shape – the top, middle and bottom are different, but are important in their own ways.

ENDINGS ARE STRONGER= A feature usually ends with a bang, as the story is long, it would be a disappointment if readers were left in suspense from a cliffhanger, so thr story must end well.

INTROS ARE VARIED= The intro to a feature aims to tease or amuse the reader into continuing to read the story.


What Is A Feature?

FEATURE= An article that takes an in-depth look at a story, usually written after the events that they cover.

The events that features cover are usually not current, which is why features are long, so they can give the reader more information about an event.

DIEGESIS= The telling of a story e.g The narrator of One Piece who always explains what’s happening at the beginning of each episode.

  • In journalism, news is told in a diegetic way e.g Two cars crashed killing two people on Hylton Road this morning.

MIMESIS= The showing of a story e.g

  • Features are more mimetic e.g It is 9am in the morning, metal debris is strewn across the road. In the distance the sound of sirens break the silence. The scene is of utter devastation. (In this example, the reason it is mimetic is because of the detail given)


Evaluation of Council Story

Generally speaking, i found this easier to do than the general story that i took so long to find a topic on.

Going on the council website i searched for interesting meetings to attend in order to write a story. However many of the meetings were rather boring and were more feature than news.

Searching again after a few more days i found a meeting about a Hull Housing strategy set to improve housing standards. The story was not particularly difficult to write, and since i recorded what was said in the meeting, it was easier to get the quotes and write the story up.

The council meeting was on a very broad topic: Housing across Hull. However i picked an angle to tackle this story and focused primarily on the private sector housing.

I believe this story is newsworthy as housing is a topic that many are interested in. The council plan to make the housing better by lowering rent. As many households in the private sector are forced to pay high rent, a topic like this is likely to grab their attention and the attention of many.

In addition getting a photo relevant to this story was simple.

My story, however, could be improved upon.

This story would be best suited for the Hull daily Mail. This is because it is of concern to residents in Hull as it is about housing across Hull.


Plans To Change Housing In The Private Sector Approved – Council Story


Hull City Council have given the go ahead for a plan set to drastically improve housing standards in the private sector.

The council plan to make a high quality, energy efficient and affordable private rented sector so that it is accessible to all.

The need to improve the housing was discussed by members of the cabinet last week, as it was noted the rent is too high, and this leaves many households struggling to survive.

In addition the houses are of poor quality, since the heating is insufficient.

To improve the heating in the houses, the council plan to develop and publish Hull’s Affordable Warmth Strategy.

The size of the private sector as a whole is only a portion of the problem. There are currently almost 2,500 homes that have been empty for nearly six months – the vast majority of these are in the private sector.

It is expected to increase even more in size, as Dave Richmond, head of housing said: “Private renting sector has doubled in size and is expected to double in size over the next 10 years. It really is going to be the looming problem that we face in this city unless we get to grips with it.”

To tackle this particular issue, the council plan to find new and creative ways of bringing the empty homes back into use as well.

Another issue discussed to target was the affordability of the private sector that leaves many people without homes, as Mr Richmond pointed out: “the private sector is the main cause of homelessness.”

Many in the private sector are rough sleepers due to the high rent.

Cllr Steve Brady, leader of the council said: “We have got to drive up the standards of the private sector. Some people are living in awful conditions and it’s unacceptable.

We want (the private sector housing) to be a decent home standard. We want clean, dry homes and to me it’s the least that can be expected from anyone that is renting a house.”

Discussing when the current conditions of the private sector are likely to change, he said:

“When the government give us more powers to act against the landlords that are not providing decent homes for the people.”



General News Story Evaluation

I found this extremely difficult, as i was only able to get a story at the last minute. I searched through multiple newspapers and websites to find a story to write about but most of the stories were not suited for the hyperlocal website.

I wrote a story about an event i attended called the Hanse Day event. Although it is not a very serious news topic, over 21,000 people attended this event so it can be argued that it is still newsworthy.

As well it is about the heritage of Hull back in the 13th century and how Hull transformed tremendously over the years.

If i were to redo this story again, perhaps i would aim to talk to as many people as i could in town, such as local traders and event planners in order to get a better news story to write about.

Overall however, i am happy with this story, as i was also able to get quotes from the event organiser, which helped strengthen the story a little.

If this story were to be published it would go onto the Hull Daily Mail as this annual festival targets Hull in general speaking about its past and not just a specific part of Hull.

A trip to the 13th Century – Hull celebrates Hanse Day

Over 21,000 people gathered at the Hull High Street on Saturday to celebrate the international Hanse Day.

The annual event took people back to a 13th century medieval Hull, a time when the city was part of a powerful league called the Hanseatic league that dealt with trading.

Meredith Trowsdale, the event organiser, said: “In the mid-13th century, seafaring merchants from across Northern Europe joined together to form the Hanseatic League as a way to pursue their shared economic interests.

Throughout the North Sea and Baltic Sea region, up to 200 towns and cities were members of the League. Hull was one of several associated trading cities in the UK, exporting such items as wool, cloth and salt.

Some days up to a dozen ships arrived into Hull with imported timber, canvas, furs, iron, flax and pitch. For over 400 years the League played a major role in shaping economies, trade and politics before losing its significance in the mid-17th century.”

Although this is only the second time the event has been celebrated, the first being last year, there were almost double the number of people, as Trowsdale said: (We had) 21,075, compared to 12,000 in 2016 which was our first year.

Residents flocked together to interact with people dressed as characters from over three millennia ago.



A character attempting to eat a burning smore.

Connor Miller, 28 from Goole said: “I missed the event last year so this was my first time. It was so exciting and there was so much to see.”

Amy Katherine, 47 from Hessle said: “Some of the stunts the characters were doing were quite scary. But it was nice to see everyone mingle and have a good time.”

Esther May, 33, from Anlaby said: “It’s nice to see such recreations. I feel i can know a little about what Hull was like all those years ago and how different it is now.”

Sandra Evans, 35, from Hessle said: “You don’t see this everyday, especially here. They should do things like these more often.”

Following the end of the 6 hour long event, Trowsdale said:” The event was a great success with a 75% increase in visitor number.”

The date is already selected for our 2018 event – 12th May 2018″, she added.

To learn more about the Hanse Day event, visit their website









  • Don’t overuse commas in a sentence


  • Try not to use these: if you must then it’s fine but try not to use them alot



Exlamation Marks

  • Avoid using exclamation marks!


  • Use double quotes (“”) when quoting what someone said
  • Use single quote marks within double quote marks e.g “They describe Luffy as ‘rather naive’.”


Use italics when emphasising


numbers 10 and above are written in numbers not in words e.g “Britain will leave the EU in 5 years”





  1. Get The Agenda: 
  • Get a copy of the meeting’s program before attending it.
  • You can do this by visiting their website, or calling or visiting your local town hall
  • Knowing what they will discuss will help you make better notes and you’ll be less confused.

2. Pre-meeting Reporting:

  • When you have the program, find out about the topics they are going to talk about in the meeting
  • Check the website of your local paper to see if they’ve written about any of the issues coming up in the meeting e.g if the Hull Daily Mail has covered something on the program, you want to get a fresh angle so as not to copy them. 

3. Find Your Focus:

  • Pick a few issues on the program you want to focus on: look for the ones that seem newsworthy, controversial or just interesting.
  • If you’re not sure what’s newsworthy, ask yourself “What issue on the program will affect the most people in my community?” The more people affected by something, the more newsworthy it is.

4. Planning Meetings:

  • Many good stories are in the weekly list of planning applications
  • You can find a list of newsworthy, interesting stories

5.  Report, Report, Report:

  • Interview members of the council to get quotes and more information.
  • If there’s a controversial issue, interview local residents on both sides as far as the issue is concerned

6. Identifying Councillors:

  • Get pictures of the members of the council, as well as their phone numbers and email addresses

7. Get Phone Numbers & E-mail Addresses:

  • Get the phone numbers & email addresses of everyone you interview
  • This will help if you need more information, need to ask another question, or need more quotes

8. Confidentiality: 

  •  Confidential things are those that the court or central govt. has said shouldn’t go public
  • Get legal advice before adding confidential things to your stories!

9. Parish/Town Councils:

  • A constant source of stories for local papers
  • They are less formal and are usually the starting point of issues that become big stories

10. Understand What Happened:

  • Never leave a meeting without understanding what happened
  • You can’t write about something you don’t understand

11. Get Rid Of Jargon:

  • Make it easy for your readers to understand what you’re writing about
  • Use simple words e.g instead of copious, say many.