Quantcast Types of Interviews and Techniques

exact title. The source can be identified in general terms, such   as   a   “Pentagon   spokesman,”   “government official,”  “qualified authority,” and so forth. DEEP   BACKGROUND.–   The  source  is  com- pletely omitted but the reporter can use the information. Example:   “It  has  been  learned  that  Admiral  Little resigned because he was forced out by. . . .” Types of Interviews and Techniques There  are  several  types  of  news  media  interviews, ranging  from  impromptu  ones  in  a  crisis  to  long- planned,  easy  going  talk-show  type  of  interviews.  The senior  journalist  must  know  the  types  of  interviews  and the techniques involved for two reasons. First, there may come a time when you will be the subject of a media interview if the PAO is unavailable (or if you are serving as  a  PAO  in  a  smaller  command).  Second,  you  are frequently called upon to conduct media training for those individuals scheduled for a media interview. ACCIDENT  OR  INCIDENT.—  In the highly- charged   emotional   atmosphere   of   an   accident   or incident  where  news  media  may  be  denied  access  due to ongoing investigations, recommend to the CO that he make a brief statement to the news media and take a few questions. With the help of the news media, the CO may do the l l l following: Reach out to crew families and assure them that the CO is in charge, all that can be done is being done, and so forth. Tell the public of heroic acts. Express  thanks  to  those  individuals  or  organiza- tions involved in rescue, firefighting, and so on. Any  questions  about  accident  details  may  be answered with the following statement: “I’ m sorry, I cannot discuss details that will be part of the ongoing Navy  investigation.”  In a tragic accident or incident, senior fleet PAOs will be involved and will provide your office with advice and guidance. GENERAL.—  This  is  a  one-on-one  interview involving a reporter and an individual involved in a specific event or issue. You and the PAO may grant this type of interview on a case-by-case basis, depending on the sensitivity of the issue and if the subject matter is not beyond   the   responsibility   of   the   person   to   be interviewed. The PAO should monitor the interview and tape-record it in case questions arise later on the context of the answers or if the interviewee is misquoted. TALK SHOW.—  Many  local  television  and  cable stations have interview shows where “people in the news”  are  interviewed.  These  are  referred  to  as  “soft” interviews that usually focus on the personality of the person or command, rather than on hard news issues. Nevertheless, prior preparation is important even for a soft interview. Be sure you know if there will be another speaker on the show who will be asked their opinions of the  issues  the  interviewee  will  address. Since the talk show interview is usually scheduled in advance and topics may be agreed upon in advance, the interviewee must be aware that new questions may arise tied to current events in the news. For example, if the CO is scheduled for a 0900 interview on the heels of a major naval incident nine hours earlier, he can expect some questions on it. AMBUSH.– This type of “on-the-run,” unantici- pated interview usually is related to some major issue or controversial  event.  The  person  leaves  his  home,  a congressional  hearing  or  a  courtroom,  and  is  suddenly faced   with   television   cameras,   microphones   and shouted questions. The main rule here is to keep cool, smile and move as soon as possible. It is acceptable to say “I am sorry, I do not have the time to talk to you. ” Once the subject stops to answer one question, it is harder to move on. REMOTE.– This is similar to the general interview but involves the interviewee in one loation (such as on the  ship’s  bridge  or  pier)  and  the  interviewer  in  a television studio asking questions. There may also be a third party linked by another remote location or in the television studio. The interviewee has an earplug to hear the  questions. The  main  drawback  to  this  interview  is  the distraction and confusion the audio feedback makes in the  earplug.  This  technical  problem  makes  the interviewee more nervous and thus interferes with the ability  to  do  the  best  interview  possible.  Practice  with the remote will help, but such interviews are always difficult. EDITED.– As you already know, any interview, whether it be print, radio or television, may be edited if it is not done live. The problem with the edited interview is that an answer may be edited  out of context. One answer to this problem is to have command personnel only appear on live radio or television shows. However, even  alive  interview  can  be  stage-managed  by  the  host. The best advice about this interview is that you know the people you are dealing with. For example, the Navy  has  had  very  bad  experiences  with  some  so-called 4-10


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