Broadcast Journalism – The Basics of On-Air Interviews

A good journalist knows how to ask the right questions.

The basics of journalism always apply – who, what, where, when and how. Excellent journalists are able to do something more in their interviews. Journalists like Katie Couric can create a compelling story by knowing what kinds of questions will encourage the interviewee to relax and talk freely.

Research – Know who you are interviewing before you go on air! In addition to the  the interviewees name, you need to be locate interesting and informative information about your guest.

Unique – ask yourself what makes your interviewee different and unique. Bring out the best in your interviewee by making him or her feel comfortable. Being interviewed live on-air can be quite stressful. It is very important to allow your guest to feel relaxed with you.

Prepare your Questions – write down the questions you are going to ask. Consider how the person might respond; ALWAYS prepare follow-up questions.

Listen – If you want your interview to flow freely, you must listen to her responses. Allow the conversation to flow while keeping control. Not listening to your interviewee will be obvious to viewers and to your guest.

Take A Genuine Interest in Your Subject – When you are interested in the person and the topic under discussion your interview will reveal an authenticity viewers will enjoy.

Finally, have fun with your first interviews! Use this opportunity to identify your strengths and areas for improvement.

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Dr. Gina Marcello is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, Graphic Design & Multimedia at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ.

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