INTERVIEW COLOR CODE: GREEN
Overall, the journalists interviewed based their decisions on speaking with the insurgents and developing sources depending on what type of terrorist organization they covered. The majority of journalists had spoken with a member of a terrorist organization at least once in their career, and agreed that this was of utmost importance in providing valid facts about a story for their readers.
Reporters who were not able to speak with insurgents, such as Declan Walsh and Omar Nor, had to use websites that the terrorist organizations used in order to confirm their stories. Walsh said insurgents would issue statements on social media or through channels that were established as Islamic State channels or other organizations. Nor said he did not speak with the group al-Shabaab because they considered journalists the enemy, and Nor felt he would be risking his life by reaching out to them.
A common consensus among the journalists interviewed was a need to foster relationships with their terrorist sources that was based on a certain level of trust so they could continue to use them throughout their research and writing. When talking to ISIS fighters, Rukmini Callimachi said she would have to spend a large portion of the interview just getting people to try to see her on her own terms, by asking questions that display her knowledge of the terrorist organization. Coghlan built a level of trust with his fixer, whose duties included finding Coghlan terrorists to interview.
In general, it all comes down to spending time with the insurgents in order to build a relationship, but sometimes this can be tricky and dangerous depending on the specific organization.