Dan Rather, outspoken on NPR’s Diane Rehm show

They say to be a great writer, read great writing. Well, if you’re a journalist, there’s also a lot of value in listening to great interviews.

Diane Rehm’s interview with Dan Rather is truly one of the best. You can listen to full interview here. In the meantime, here my three takeaways:

Keep it peer-to-peer. Rehm and Rather are both veteran reporters. While you may not be interviewing your career counterpart, you can always fake it. If you’re starstruck or overly professional it’ll be harder to get a good banter going or ask tough questions, two hallmarks of great interviews.

Ethics are non-negotiable. In this interview, Rather’s unwavering commitment to ethics and the responsibility of professional journalists comes through loud and clear. He  reminds us that just because news is sometimes edu-tainment—he speaks eloquently on the transition from news by journalists to news by entertainers—doesn’t lessen our ethical obligations. In fact, it increases them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with edu-tainment, brand reporting or advertorials. Just don’t confuse them with hard news or let your audience confuse them either.

Have no regrets. Everybody $@&#s up from time to time, even Dan Rather. Learn from your mistakes, move forward and commit to doing things better the next go-round.

Featured image by: rutlo
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I'm a smart, sassy, globally-mobile freelance writer, content creator, brand journalist and nonprofit storyteller. The world is my office. Email me to find out more.
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