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To elicit facts or statements from others, a reporter has to interview his interviewees. But I feel that the word "interview" should be used as a VIP to interview his visiters. It seems improper to say "the reporter interviews the President of the United States, rather, you have to say "the President interviews the reporter". Am I on the right track?

So I rewrite the sentence "Well, I soon dug out the photo taken of Mr Chen and myself two years before, when I visited him as a reporter, and put it in the very middle of the bookshelf" as " Well, I soon dug out the photo taken of Mr Chen and myself two years before, when I was interviewed by him as a reporter, and put it in the very middle of the bookshelf. "

Am I okay?
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No. 'Interview' is a verb meaning not just to speak to, but to question. The relative importance of the people involved has no influence on the meaning of interview. The person asking the questions and finding out information is the interviewer, who interviews the person providing the answers and information.

If Mr Chen were interviewing a reporter you are changing the meaning entirely and he would be asking the reporter questions!

It is absolutely correct to interview the US President, the Queen of England, Robert DeNiro, Madonna, Michael Jackson, or the little old lady down the road whose cat was stuck in a tree. There is no disrespect implied in this word.
Comments  
Let's interview the US President, and the QE! Emotion: big smile