Citation, Documentation of Sources
Q. What is the difference between a discussion and an interview? I am putting endnotes into a book by an investigative journalist who has conducted several interviews, but it appears that the examples given in the manual under the interview section are for discussions. Is a discussion less formal? For instance, without a set time and date?
A. Generally speaking, a discussion is a less formal and less scripted talk or debate between two or more equal participants where either no one is in charge or there is a moderator, whereas an interview is more formally conducted by a person who asks questions, sometimes from a prepared list, although interviews can also be informal and spontaneous. There is no doubt some overlap between the two. CMOS 14.219 shows examples of citations of an interview (notes 8 and 9) as well as of a discussion.