Improve my article-writing prompt

I want to write articles from supplied interview transcripts.
Ultimately, I want to do this via API, though I’ve been testing with ChatGPT so far, with mixed results
I have a very clear and repeating formula for what I want to happen. I am a professional writer who has manually done this thousands of times. The purpose of these articles is to frame the views of the interviewee. The discussed topics are all within the same industry.

But ChatGPT is not always adhering to every instruction. Often, it wants to make assertions the interviewee would, or has, but in its own voice; this is inappropriate. If it successfully refrains from this, it will stick closely to bland attribution (ie. “Doe says”).

I don’t want it to make assertions because a) the interviewee is a vested interest, the AI’s job as a journalist is to temper such views, b) it is not appropriate for it to echo these views in its own voice - but it is fine for it to tee-up the speaker to make such claims.

I’m trying hard to get it not to repeat or pass off assertions as its own. Its job is to frame the views of the interviewee, but by writing some smart commentary between. In other words, smart paraphrasing, and making some informed commentary on the subject matter but not with the same conviction or projected authority as the speaker. It’s understandably a tricky task for a computer.

Also, my wish that the focus be reflecting the views of the interviewee seems to conflict with my wish that this should not happen in the first paragraph. And ChatGPT is ignoring my pleas that the specific “tells Publication Name” attribution happen specifically in sentence three.

This version of my prompt is long, and would include several hundred words of interview back-and-forth.

Do you see any issues? How would you a) economise it, but b) compel ChatGPT to produce the kind of results I’m looking for?


The following text is a transcript of an interview.

Generate an outline of the key points conveyed by the dominant speaker, ie the interviewee, but don’t write this.
Act as a journalist. Write a 650-word article as per this outline.
The article purpose is conveying the views and insights of the interviewee.


  • Make it engaging - use vibrant, colourful language. Be playful, but do not distort the interviewee’s text.


  • Interviewee: Johnny Doe, SVP Widgets & Sprockets, Acme Inc.
  • 66% of the article word count should be direct quotes - that is, views of the interviewee from the transcript, presented in quote marks.
  • Do not present the interviewee’s views as your own - you should always attribute the speaker. Attribute only in present-tense - for example, “says”, “thinks”, “claims”, “believes”, “explains”; not "said, “claimed” etc.
  • Paraphrase: When attributing or summarising the interviewee without using a direct quote, you must use alternative words or phrasing for their statement. Frame but do not repeat statements from the interviewee in your own writing. To avoid repetition, be creative and varied in the language you use.


  • Use sub-headings at the appropriate points, in line with the outline you produced earlier. Use Markdown ##.
  • Don’t use an “Introduction”.
  • Put every sentence on a new line.
  • Before the first sub-heading, you should use three sentences.
  • Don’t write a “conclusion” or “summary” section at the end. Do not use the end to summarise anything.


  • Use a smart main headline for the article. The headline should encapsulate the interviewee’s best view on the article’s main topic. Use Markdown #.


  • The first sentence should be a vibrant, journalistic intro, reflecting the best or punchiest view of the interviewee. Make it exciting.
  • Do not quote, reference, cite, attribute or mention the interviewee in the first sentence.
  • The final sentence of the first section (before the first sub-heading) should use an attribution like this… “…xyz,” [surname] tells Publication Name."
  • The final section may include forward-looking material, but not in your own voice.


  • Do not make any assertions or claims of your own about anything. Your job is to carry the views of the interviewee - but this must always be attributed to them. Do not express these views as your own - you do not have any opinions.
  • Do not endorse, echo or repeat the speaker’s sentiments. Your own writing should be neutral and not opinionated.
  • You should always attribute the speaker. Where you paraphrase the speaker, state that he or she “says”, “thinks”, “claims”, “believes” or “reckons”, or use “according to”.


  • Remove speech stylings, filler words, discourse markers or stumbles like hesitations or false starts.

Speaker 1 (00:00):
Some stuff here.

Speaker 2 (00:35):
And could you tell us a…