When Chad Whitacre asked TechCrunch journalist if his interview could be live-streamed the journalist told him:
Yeh, good luck with that.
As a journalist I can see the appeal of what Chad Whitacre calls an Open Interview. But unless you are a journalist, you might find it difficult to understand why this can be an issue to adopt as a standard.
First of all, journalists filming, or doing live, interviews is not a new concept. Ever watched TV lately? Need I elaborate more on that now? Other than pointing out the obvious it does already exist.
Second of all, sources often rely on journalists to keep some secrets, respecting a source’s honesty when off-the-record is requested. Not just for the sake of protecting a source, but also proving to them that you can be trusted. That you are not yet another bastard journalist that will spill the beans so you can get all the fame for it.
When possible I record the interview— asking for permission to do so first of course —for the sake of accuracy. If asked, I always point out the recording is for my use only, without intent to be published. Therefore, even if the interview is recorded, the conversation will be much more relaxed than it would be if it were live-streamed.
Before people decide that Open Interviews should be the norm and those who do not do them has something to hide, we need to understand it is not all about your obsession to access everything. Because this debate reminds me of the good old fallacious response when someone complains about the lack of privacy, that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide, presuming if you want to hide something, you have been a naughty boy.
Just imagine if you are about to blow the whistle about something huge, and revealing your identity might cost you your career, or maybe even your life. Would a journalist that is pro Open Interviews be your first to contact, or would to turn to a journalist that is known to keep a tight lid on things to protect his/her sources?