Transcribing interviews. Seriously. It does not matter how exciting a conversation was the first time around, re-listening to an identical conversation and taking copious notes has got to be one of the most boring tasks. Ever. And that’s re-listening to the exciting interviews. Now imagine what it’s like re-listening to a less-than-stellar conversation. Exactly.
So, you ask, why don’t you just take notes the first time around?
Well, I do. I take lots of notes. I scribble all over the place. But, I also like to pay attention to the person I’m talking to, and that’s a lot harder to do when I’m writing down what he just said. Ever write down what a person says, listen to what he’s currently saying and formulate what you’re going to ask him based on what he just said? The said part that you’re still jotting down?
It’s a skill, apparently. One I’m still working at obtaining. So, in the meantime I record story interviews.
Recording an interview also allows for more precision in quoting sources. I prefer to attribute words to a person that he actually said versus quoting something he “generally” said. It’s better journalism.
Which begs the statement: You’re not a journalist.
No, no, I’m not, but I like to think I should show some integrity and uphold some of the same standards.
Of course, when I’m three-quarters of the way through a second-time-over interview, I’m half tempted to throw integrity out the window, make up my own exciting quotes and call it a day.
Chances are they’d be more entertaining to read anyway.