Rights as an Interviewee

During or before an interview, you have the right to:

  • Request basic information about the reporter and the story. You have the right to know the reporter’s name and the media outlet for which they are writing. It is also a good idea to know the beat the reporter covers, the deadline they are working under as well as the general gist of the news story they are writing. Most credible journalists will have no problem sharing this information.
  • Determine whether you are being recorded. When you receive a phone call from a reporter, particularly for a radio interview, ask whether you are or will be recorded.  
  • Provide information at a later time. If you are not 100 percent sure of an answer, tell the reporter you would like to double-check your information and get back to them. They will appreciate the accuracy and you will become a reliable resource for them.

Interviewees do not typically have the right to:

  • Demand questions in advance. Journalists may share questions or the general point of the interview with you, but you cannot demand to know all of the content of the interview in advance.
  • Review the story before it runs. Occasionally a journalist will ask you to review a story for accuracy, but consider this the exception to the rule.
  • Ask for another reporter to do the story. This will not only irritate the reporter, but will probably reduce the likelihood you would ever get coverage from that media outlet again.