You’re tracking the diversity of your sources, and you need to feed your shiny new spreadsheet/proprietary database/legal pad some data. If you’re not sure what to say to your interviewees, try this script, created by the Short Wave team:
OK, last thing. At NPR, we’re trying to talk to all different kinds of people — so we can represent a range of backgrounds and experiences. And, in order to do that, we have to know more about you. So we’re going to ask you a few quick questions. This is totally optional. (So if I ask you a question you don’t feel comfortable answering, you can just say “I don’t want to answer that.”) These questions have no bearing on your interview and we’ll never share your individual data outside the company. Sound OK?
How would you describe your gender?
How would you describe your race/ethnicity?
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Where are you right now?
Bonus question: Are you aware of any organizations that could help us connect with diverse sources?
NOTE: If you are interviewing a source in Europe, you have to first ask permission to ask these questions. You can say, “I’d like to ask you your gender identity, race, age and geographic location. Is that OK?”