Many journalists are willing to share the basics about the stories they’re working on, and any insight they offer will help you better prepare.
Below are eight questions you might consider asking reporters. I typically don’t ask all of these for every interview; journalists don’t appreciate being grilled. They’ll probably offer some of this information on their own anyway, so just fill in any gaps by asking the most relevant of these questions:
1. Who are you? No, you shouldn’t ask that question verbatim, but collect the basics—their name, the name of the news organization for which they work, and whether they cover a particular topic.
2. Can you tell me about the story you’re working on? Keep this question open-ended and remain quiet while the reporter speaks (the more they say, the more you’ll learn). Feel free to ask follow-up questions and to clarify any points you don’t fully understand.