What not to do as a Journalist during Interviews

I was vigorously reading my uni textbooks yesterday (see translation: I was scrolling through my news feed yesterday with my uni books pushed aside) when I came across an interesting video. I study journalism as well as PR and after watching this video I was so irritated and angry I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I was so close to commenting on the video when I thought no I’m better than this. I don’t comment on videos that already have millions of offensive comments.

No, I’ll just write a whole blog post about it instead.

The video was the cringe worthy interview between model-turned-actress ‘Carla’ Delevingne and US morning show Good Day Sacramento, discussing Cara’s most recent movie ‘Paper Towns’ which premiered July 21st

So here are 3 things you should not do as a journalist during interviews, credit to the crew from the Good Day show.

  1. Do NOT come into an interview unprepared.

Not the best start to an interview if you don’t even know your interviewees name. You could probably expect them to seem a bit ‘irritated’ if you show up knowing little to nothing about them as the female anchor mistakenly had done for this interview, referring to Cara as ‘Carla’.

No matter whom you’re interviewing whether it’s a manager of a restaurant or a well-known model/actress… you MUST do your research prior to the interview.

  1. Do NOT ask stupid questions.

Well that’s an extremely obvious one but apparently not to the hosts of Good Day. I mean if you’re interviewing a movie star who was one of the main characters from a movie based on a book then… I think they might have read the book! Cara sarcastically answered that no she had not read the book or even the script because that’s what they may as well have asked her.

So as said in point 1 do prior research to avoid asking questions that you should already know the answer to… or in this case just use some common sense yeah?

  1. Do NOT taunt your interviewee.

Telling your interviewee that they seem a bit irritated will probably not render a good response as one of the hosts discovered on the show.

Cara did seem rather irritated though but that was probably due to the rude comment made by another host that told her she didn’t seem as excited about the movie as she had in previous interviews.

She admitted she was emotionally and physically tired after months of hard work and the movies premiere the night before (probably hungover too, give her a break!)

Not everyone you interview has been in an interview before; it’s your job to make them feel comfortable with talking to you in order for them to give you fruitful answers.

And no matter who it is you’re interviewing, as one of my lecturers repeated several times before to us BE POLITE. It’s not that hard.

So there you have it, seems pretty straightforward hey? Trust me from personal experience (even as a second year student) it actually is very straightforward.

As always practice makes perfect… except of course for the Good Day hosts I guess.

Watch the video here; Video

/ Zoe Keenan

Posted in Zoe

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