Week Four

Week four we discussed interviewing techniques and looked at Chapter 6 in the textbook.

Chapter 6 – Interviewing for broadcast news and current affairs

This chapter focused on different styles of interviews for all kinds of news mediums. While radio and newspapers can do most interviews via the phone, Alysen says broadcast television relies heavily on face to face interviews in order to gain as much vision as they can. Q&A is a popular style of interviewing used in most mediums, especially radio and television (Alysen, 2012).


This refers to what are known as ‘grabs’, which pulled from interviews to include in broadcast stories for radio and television. When cutting and editing, to make the most of your limited timeframe most journalists won’t include their question. That way they can mould their script around the grabs they decide to include.

Keeping interviews short and succinct will help with editing and finding the most important grabs. You should be aiming for atleast two to three grabs in an interview.

This chapters gives a great run down on how to prepare for an interview. Before, during and after an interview, this chapter gives you tips on what you need to do to ensure things run smoothly (page 82-84).

Things such as preparing your questions prior, ensuring your recording equipment and sound levels are working and discussing with the interviewee your plans to keep them at ease  will help you before an interview.

During the interview, ensure you are straight to the point, speaking clearly and confidently, and remain in control of the direction of the interview.

After the interview, ensure you check and save the recording before you leave. Transcribe the soundbites you want to include in your story when you write your script.

This chapter also talks about types of interviewing questions like opening questions, open-ended and closed-ended questions, follow-up questions, and using statements as questions.

It also covers how sometimes you may be faced with unexpected responses and how to deal with those interviewees who are dealing with grief and trauma.

Types of information and when you can and cannot use it:

On the record
Information given may be attributed to the interviewee.

This information may be used, however the source may not be used.

Deep background
This information may be used without attribution.

Off the record
This information should not be used.

References: The Electronic Reporter – Barbara Alysen


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