NR&W: The Final Question And A Pause Or Two

In class on Wednesday, we spoke about some interviewing tips and some ways to come up with questions for interviews. We also talked about the use of “Is there something you’d like to add?” as your final question. While this might be quite effective in some cases, it might not always work, especially since you would be conducting the majority of your interviews in Urdu. “Kya aap kuch aur kehna chaheyein ge?” might just lead to more “no” replies than its English counterpart. A rephrased version of this question I have found helpful is “Kya mein kuch bhool tau nahi raha? …Aap kay khayal mein koi aur zaruri baat?” What it does is it gives the impression that you are giving importance to the source. Flattery works well, sometimes.

Listening is obviously crucial. I cannot emphasize it enough.

Another thing I have noticed to work well is an awkward pause from the reporter after the source has finished speaking. This often makes sources uncomfortable and gives them the impression that the reporter expects them to speak some more or add some more information and they usually do it. Fred Zimmerman explains it much better here:

Sometimes it helps to change the conversational pace, by backing off a sensitive line of inquiry, putting your notebook away, and suddenly displaying a deep interest in an irrelevancy. But be sure to return to those sensitive questions later. A sudden pause is sometimes useful. When the subject finishes a statement just stare at her maybe with a slightly ambiguous smile, for a few seconds. She often will become uneasy and blurt out something crucial.

Oh, and that previous link is a tremendous resource for interview tips for news reports and profiles. We will go over some more points from the article in class.

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Journalist.
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