Understanding the interviewee

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How to understand your interviewee and why they may be willing to talk to you. Written for journalism students preparing for a career in broadcasting or publishing.

Published in: Education, News & Politics
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Understanding the interviewee

  1. 1. Image courtesy of Internews via Flickr released under Creative CommonsTHE INTERVIEWEEWhy would someone talk to a reporter?
  2. 2. The Interviewee @helpingmedia
  3. 3. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Ego, guilt, delusion His ego is so big he can’t resist the exposure She feels guilty and wants to confess He wants to defend himself against what others are saying or doing She wants to give the impression she’s not guilty Image courtesy of Internews via Flickr released under Creative Commons He’s deluded—doesn’t have a clue how foolish he’ll look @helpingmedia
  4. 4. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Job, cause, record, outrage She doesn’t really want to, but it’s her job—she has to He believes strongly in his cause She wants to get the facts right—to set the record straight He’s outraged at something or someone She wants to defend someone else Image courtesy of Internews Network via Flickr released under Creative Commons @helpingmedia
  5. 5. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Agenda, obedience, payment She’s a sociopath and thinks she can con the journalist He has a hidden agenda She’s obedient and believes journalists have some kind of authority He thinks it’s just the right thing to do She’s getting paid by Image courtesy of Harshad Sharma via Flickr released under Creative Commons someone to talk @helpingmedia
  6. 6. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Diversion, career, agreement He’s trying to divert the journalist’s attention She’s punishing another journalist or news outlet He hopes the exposure will further his career or help his reputation She believes the journalist really understands the story He believes the journalist is likely to agree with his point Image courtesy of Nasim Fekrat via Flickr released under Creative Commons of view @helpingmedia
  7. 7. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Payment, reward, affinity She believes the journalist will somehow pay her He’s rewarding the journalist who is more persistent She’s rewarding the journalist who hasn’t pestered her He wants to talk to a journalist of a particular race, sex, religion, alma mater, etc She cooperates with a journalist who isn’t of a Image courtesy of thivierr via Flickr released under particular race, religion, etc Creative Commons @helpingmedia
  8. 8. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Impressed by journalist He is impressed with the journalist’s patience She believes the journalists will be more accurate than the others He believes the journalist is somehow more sympathetic or empathic She supports the perceived editorial position of the publication/station/network He believes the journalist really Image courtesy of Steve Rhodes via Flickr released cares under Creative Commons @helpingmedia
  9. 9. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Trust, experience, reputation She believes the journalist is trustworthy He believes the journalist is more experienced She believes the journalist is more trustworthy The journalist came highly recommended She’s read/seen/heard the journalist’s work and likes Image courtesy of Internews Network via Flickr his/her work released under Creative Commons @helpingmedia
  10. 10. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Naive, nice, likes He believes the journalist is naïve and can somehow be hoodwinked She believes the journalist’s publication/program will reach more people He believes the journalist is just plain nice Image courtesy of Shykh Seraj via Flickr released She likes the anchors on under Creative Commons the journalist’s newscast @helpingmedia
  11. 11. The IntervieweeWhy would they talk to you? Emotion, job, information He believes he might be able to have a relationship with the journalist She believes the journalists might help her get a job as a reporter He believes the reporter might have information that could be helpful She supports the perceived Image courtesy of Esthr via Flickr released under Creative Commons editorial position of the publication/station/network @helpingmedia
  12. 12. The on-camera interviewAcknowledgement Don Ray Using material from a training module by Don Ray on Media Helping Media Don can be contacted for training work at donray@donray.com http://www.mediahelpingmedia.org/ Image courtesy of Don Ray @helpingmedia

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