How to Interview a Celebrity
Kid Reporter learns tricks of the trade on the job.
Having the opportunity to be a Kid Reporter has been an amazing experience that has prepared me to be a journalist. After all, I’m learning the ropes right next to experienced adult reporters.
I began covering the news for Scholastic in 2007 and have reported on a variety of subjects including politics, entertainment, literature, art, sports, and more. The memories I cherish of my reporting experiences are like bubblegum—they will stick with me forever.
One tip that I’d like to share is something I learned from Julie Chang who is an entertainment reporter from FOX’s Good Day New York. I was in my first year of reporting and I met her in Vancouver on the set of a movie that I was covering.
I asked Julia how she gets people to open up to her without making them feel uncomfortable or like she’s putting them on the spot.
“I talk to them like I would talk to my friends,” she said. “If it’s a sad occasion, like for instance when I used to cover hard news and someone had lost a family member, it’s extremely difficult to approach that situation because they’re going through a devastating time. Meanwhile, you’re putting a camera in their face.”
Julia thinks about what the person she is talking to is going through and how she would feel if it were her.
“You put yourself in their shoes,” she said. “I lost my father, so I can relate to losing a loved one. I try to approach it the most tactful, sensitive way.”
For an exciting event like a movie premiere, it’s much easier.
“You talk to the stars as if they’re your friends," she told me. "It’s easier for them to open up more.”
I found her tip to be helpful and I always remember it when conducting an interview. When you talk to people like they are your friends, the conversation flows much better and you get better information.
Being a Kid Reporter is on-the-job training that can’t really be taught in a classroom. If you want to try it out, apply now! The deadline is October 12.
PHOTO: Kid Reporter Mariam El Hasan with Entertainment Reporter Julie Chen at a movie set in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo Courtesy Mariam El Hasan)