USC Annenberg Media Resources

The Video Interview

There are different types of interviews. You may need a mix of interviews to do your story right. Pre-arranged one-on-one interviews: longer interviews set up in advance Spontaneous one-on-one interviews: short interviews done at the scene MOS interviews: man-on-the-street interviews in which you ask a sampling of people their views on a particular issue or news event Considerations when looking for potential interview subjects: People who represent all sides of the story A mix of political, religious, moral views Racial, ethnic and gender diversity Officials or experts AND “real people” who are affected by, or part of, the story

People Being Interviewed

Some people are more skilled and more comfortable appearing on camera to answer questions. Politicians, entertainers, government, business and educational leaders have practice being interviewed. They are better at keeping their answers to soundbite length, but they also know how to evade questions and be vague. Most people you talk to aren’t polished in the art of being interviewed. It may take more work on your part to get a coherent answer, but it may be more genuine. Be patient and take the time to get them to open up to you. Starting the interview Arrive at the interview a few minutes early. DO NOT BE LATE.

Once you have decided where to conduct the interview, set up your camera. Be polite and respectful, but don’t be afraid to move the subject(s) around the room so they are in a suitable place to shoot the interview. Chat with the subject while you set up your equipment, mic them and test the audio. This helps them forget about the intimidating nature of the camera and microphone. Once you are sure everything is working properly, roll the tape and ask the subject to say and spell his or her name and title before starting the first question.

More on interviewing can be found in Chapter 14 of the ATVN Broadcast Handbook on Trello

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