IMMIGRANT INTERVIEW ASSIGNMENT As discussed in lecture, interviews are a rich, valuable and unique source of information. Interviewing people about what they know or have experienced often is the only way to gain such information. Not everything can be found online. Learning to effectively interview is a highly useful skill relevant to not just mass media, but every professional field.
Applying the principles outlined in the topical lecture, you will interview an immigrant.
The story you write will be a fairly short profile—the person’s life experience as an immigrant.
Your interview subject can be of any age and have been in this country for any length of time. Similarly, the person may have crossed the border without benefit of legal documentation, or overstayed a visa. You would be wise to have a preliminary chat to make sure your potential subject is willing to be interviewed and is likely to be forthcoming. Sometimes interviewees can be stubbornly reticent, revealing so little as to make the interview worthless.
Generally, immigrants have interesting stories, and they are quite willing to share them. So, how should you proceed? Your goal is to elicit enough information to produce an interesting profile. First, prepare a list of questions. Think of them as a blueprint that will ensure you cover basic territory.
Here are some questions you ought to ask:
1. What is your name, age, and where are you from? 2. How long have you lived in the United States? Have you always lived in the same U.S.
city? 3. Describe your life in your native country. Press for details. Most of us like to talk about
where we were born and life experiences we consider important, pleasant, poignant or even unpleasant.
4. What caused you to leave? Did you think your departure would be permanent? 5. Did you settle in another country before coming to the U.S.? 6. How has the immigrant experience been for you? Might you ever return to your
homeland? Of course, you will want to ask additional questions. Also, almost certainly the interview will produce opportunities for unanticipated questions. Plan for an interview of at least 20 minutes, and if at all possible conduct the discussion in person.
Review your interview notes and type them if you did not do so originally.
You will identify a theme in your interviewee’s story and describe it in the first paragraph, or the lead. Perhaps the immigrant you talk to has struggled unsuccessfully to adapt to the U . S .
Or, he or she has so completely become Americanized as to lose touch with the original culture. Those would be excellent themes.
Do not submit in question and answer format. Write a full-bodied story.
You are to submit a story of between 550 and 600 words on the date and time specified on the class site.

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