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Dateline Star Keith Morrison Details The Team Effort That Goes Into Preparing For Interviews

Keith Morrison is known for interviewing killers in his role on "Dateline," making for one of the show's most popular aspects outside of the "To Catch a Predator" segment. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Morrison said that he finds the psychology of killers "deeply fascinating," but also admitted, "I am an amateur. I approach these as just any regular person does. I don't have the academic skills to understand exactly what might be going on inside [their heads]." He also said in that interview that he's never felt frightened when doing an in-person interview with a convicted murderer, but did mention that there was one instance where an interview subject threatened to "throttle" Morrison. Luckily, the person threatening him was behind glass at the time.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Morrison was asked if there were any interviews that he wished he could do over, to which he replied that he could use "hundreds" of do-overs. However, when asked how he unwinds after a tough interview, Morrison said, "The only way an interview is distressing is when I make a poor job of it. There's no unwinding from the second-guessing." So, it would seem that, as many fans as there are of Morrison's interviews, the "Dateline" correspondent is a bit of a critic of his own work.

So what goes into preparing for these infamous interviews? Morrison has talked a little bit about that in several places, and it turns out that a lot of it is a collaborative effort.

Keith Morrison thinks the convicted still have a story to tell

In an interview with USA Today, Keith Morrison was asked how he prepared for interviews, and he explained that it was a collaborative process with the "extraordinary bunch at 'Dateline,'" and that they make sure he's prepped with a lot of good material before he even goes into an interview. In another article for the Los Angeles Times, it was revealed that the producers usually find the stories for Morrison, and that he doesn't usually write the first drafts of his own scripts, although he does put his unique spin on everything in the end.

In the previously mentioned interview with Vanity Fair, Morrison talked a little bit about how he prepares for interviews with convicted killers, and the journalist explained that he doesn't automatically assume that people are guilty when he talks to them. "After conviction, even after a confession, they still have a story to tell. Their story may not be the one that has received all the attention or the publicity or become the official version. But they have their own version and they want to tell that."

That being said, however, he also said that, "when they're obviously confabulating or trying to blame somebody else or avoid responsibility, I push back on them." So he certainly wants to give them a place to tell their story, but not to avoid responsibility or outright lie unchallenged. It's that very balance that Morrison finds that makes him such a successful interviewer and a compelling journalist.