If you don’t already audio-record your interviews, you most definitely should. Apart from those who know shorthand, few people can write or type fast enough to get everything that’s said. That could seriously impact the completeness and the accuracy of your final product.
If you do regularly record your interviews, then that’s great. But you know how tedious and time-consuming it is to transcribe them. The process can add several hours to the time it takes to complete an article. That’s valuable time you could better spend on more productive activities like writing, researching and interviewing.
So have your interviews transcribed.
And that leads to another benefit. For journalists, interviewers, researchers, authors, and others, one of the sweetest-sounding phrases in the English language is: copy and paste.
Imagine copying and pasting without having to worry one whit about copyright infringement. Also imagine kicking back and relaxing while conducting your interviews, without having to bother with taking notes. And, imagine cutting hours off of the time it takes you to write an article.
No, it isn’t too good to be true.
When someone talks to you during an interview or other venue, they may explain how something works in their own words. If you record what they say and have it transcribed, you can copy and paste their words into your article without having to worry about whether it’s word-for-word with something already published. That’s because when people talk, it’s original phrasing. Just like a snowflake – no two off-the-cuff spoken paragraphs are alike.
To be sure, you still need to attribute the speaker, e.g. write “according to” so-and-so. And frankly, people most of the time don’t speak with perfect grammar and organization, so you’ll probably end up massaging and rearranging the copied-and-pasted words quite a bit anyway. But at least you have something to start with. Transcripts are a great cure for writer’s block.
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