“I don’t allow email interviews in any of the classes I teach — except one. If I didn’t allow email interviews in the class tied to The Lantern, we’d never put out a paper.” I’ve recited those lines to students and others here at Ohio State many times in the three years I’ve served as student media adviser. Am I being dramatic? I’ve been told I can be. Am I exaggerating? No. Some college newspapers have made headlines in the last year for “banning” email interviews, Poynter reports. This Poynter story has a nice roundup of bans announced by three of them. Reading about such edicts, I wondered how the papers could truly ban email interviews and continue to function. With that in mind, I spoke to and, yes, emailed with the editors of 10 prominent college-media outlets. When discussing interview preferences, all ranked email a distant third behind in-person and telephone calls by staff writers, treating them as a last resort.
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