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To hear interviews in progress ..

March 13, 2007

During a half-hour interview, a person answering questions says much more than could ever be included in the average news story.

How does the writer decide what is important and what isn't? In other words, how does the writer decide what to include and what to leave out?

Thanks to some new technology, readers can now be present at some interviews and later on, ask questions themselves.

Last week, Editorial Page Editor Bob Maginnis interviewed Dee Mayberry, Western Maryland representative of the Maryland Commission for Women.

The complete interview, which took about 40 minutes, was then uploaded to www.antpod.com, which is a joint production of The Herald-Mail and Antiteam Cable Co.

Readers who are interested may go to that site, scroll down to "Bob's Pod" and hear the interview. If they wish, they may also compare the audio interview to the Sunday column Maginnis wrote based on that interview.

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If either the audio interview or written column piques your interest, you can ask Mayberry questions as part of an online chat The Herald-Mail will hold with her today - Tuesday, March 13 - at 1:30 p.m.

To participate in the online chat, go to www.herald-mail.com and click on "chat." If you would like to send questions in advance, direct them to onlinechat@herald-mail.com.

It probably will not be possible to do many interviews in this way, in part because it requires the person answering questions to commit to two sessions of about an hour apiece. For many people, that's a lot of time to take out of a busy schedule.

If you have suggestions as to who might make a good subject for this treatment, please send names to the editorial page editor, at the address listed below. We appreciate our readers' interest.

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