Ryan Singel has an interesting post on his Threat Level blog, which is part of the Wired magazine blog network, about how a Wired reporter and some top bloggers are feuding over how they should be interviewed.
Singel wrote that noted blogger Jason Calacanis “and Wired News business editor Dylan Tweeney are blog fighting, of sorts, over a request from a Wired reporter to do a phone interview with Calacanis (Suggestion: read the posts, not just the headlines, if you want to have more fun). Calacanis refused, saying he would only do an email interview, which the reporter declined, and then blasted Wired for not knowing about email on his blog. Dylan, who isn’t the reporter in question, shot back, defending Wired’s tech cred and even lifting the veil on our almost-in-beta RSS-telegraph mashup.
Journalists have been burning subjects for so long with paraphrased quotes, half quotes, and misquotes that I think a lot of folks (especially ones who don’t need the press) are taking an email only interview policy. (Mark Cuban did this long ago).
“As a journalist, I know exactly why the as-yet-named Wired reporter refused to do an email interview. Email interviews come off canned, having been pored over by five levels of the public relations department; sources massage their answers to tough questions when they aren’t dodging them; and there’s no opportunity for quick follow-ups or being able to bond/nail the interviewee. Unless it’s a trusted source or its absolutely the only way I’ll get an answer, I will not do email-only interviews.
“RSS guru Dave Winer, who was asked by the same reporter for an interview, has a more interesting suggestion:
Here’s what I said: “Not generally doing interviews these days. If you have a few questions, send them along, and if I have something to say, I’ll write a blog post, which of course you’re free to quote. Sorry that’s about the best I can do.”
Read more here.