What I’ve been reading lately

I’ve embraced the intellectual chaos of the web these last few weeks, and it’s led me to some interesting pieces. Here are a few highlights:

The Harvard Business Review explored the art of follow-up questions, something I’m still trying to refine after more than a decade of conducting interviews. Here are some highlights:

The key to understanding people lies in the follow-up question…To ask a good follow-up, you need to pay very close attention to how the interviewee responds to your initial question, and then build on his or her answer. (Full story here.)

American University’s Jan Schaffer has a manifesto for modern journalism schools, writing that “we make the media we need for the world we want.” She also has a lot to say about the professional value of a journalism degree:

Sure, you might land at your local news outlet. But, armed with a journalism degree, infused with liberal arts courses and overlaid with digital media skills, you are also attractive to information startups, non-profits, the diplomatic corps, commercial enterprises, the political arena and tech giants seeking to build out journalism portfolios, among others. (Full story here.)

Speaking of journalism education, I picked up a new monograph about the history of j schools and spent some time skimming it during the Thanksgiving power outage. Not my usual kind of reading material, but still interesting — and a good reminder that there’s always been robust debate around  how journalism is taught.

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