Filed under: Business + Politics, Society + Media | Tags: clean energy, election, environmental issues, GPACE, politician
Conducting an interview with a politician two weeks before Election Day has definitely been a challenge. Finding the time, just 15 minutes, proved to be a pretty difficult task. I was fortunate to get to speak with a state representative that serves on the select committee on energy and environment for the future, Representative Gene Rardin. I also selected him because I’ve been bombarded with direct mail for his campaign (a few samples below).
My goals for the interview were to find out where policymakers get their information about environmental issues, learn more about the major issues facing Kansans, and where renewable energy and the environment rank as a priority. I think one key to a successful interview, no matter how much time you have, is to be prepared by doing your research ahead of time. A few of the Web sites that I found helpful were gpace.org, sponsored by the Great Plains Alliance for Clean Energy, and also the American Society of Journalists and Authors Web site. GPACE had a section of the site dedicated to interviews with politicians to find out their views of clean energy and the ASJA site gave helpful tips for conducting interviews.
So what did I learn from the experience?
Everyone is busy! Not having time, is a poor excuse. But planning as far ahead as possible and being prepared can make all the difference. In regards to our field work, I learned that educating our politicians is going to be very important for the future of clean energy. I was surprised by some of the comments that showed a lack of knowledge.
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