My interview with Lindze Merritt went up last Friday and as far as I can tell, it’s been well-received. It’s since undergone some editing, in case anyone has not yet given it a read.
Before publishing my final draft, I sent a copy of the text to Lindze for approval. I always like to give my subject the final say over my copy in case something didn’t translate well during the initial editing process. By the time it was scheduled to go live, I hadn’t gotten a response, so I assumed no news was good news.
Unfortunately, the reason why I hadn’t heard from Lindze is because she doesn’t often check the email address that she’d given me to contact her. As a result, I got an email just yesterday from her thanking me for the great article, but with regret in some parts of our conversation that she didn’t intend to be made public. Specifically, details about her past relationship with comic book artist Jason Pearson.
I apologized for the slip and offered to revise it; omitting any details she was uncomfortable with. She sent me her notes and I made the changes immediately. This way–at the very least–future readers that discover the article won’t get that nose-deep into Lindze’s personal business.
To some, this may lose me some journalistic integrity, but I see it differently. My attitude toward every interview that I conduct is that the purpose of the piece is to make my subject look good, not me. The whole reason why I pitch these interviews is because I want to share with my readers how fascinating I think these people are. It also does me no good to exploit my subjects in the long run, since (God willing) I’d like to work with them again in the future.
On a humorous note, I do like to joke that I doubt my interviews ever do as well as I hope since I don’t exactly cater to GotGame’s core audience. I like to ask heady, humanizing questions like, “How do you maneuver yourself so you can wear that costume and breathe?” instead of what the readers would like to ask, “Ain’t you got some sweeeeet titties?” The interview would be over before it began and bridges would be forever burned.
I’m going to take a little bit of a break from cosplay interviews, just because I bit off more than I could chew with the last two. When I do jump back into the ring, I plan to work on my editing skills. Even if every line is gold, I need to learn what content to cut in order to keep the article from overwhelming the reader.