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How to Give, Handle “Press Interview” complete guide for Press Interview with Types of Press Interviews for candidates

Press Interview

Introduction

The importance of the press interview can hardly be exaggerated. Emil Ludwig remarks: “Of all forms of journalism, the interview is perhaps the most polished and most entertaining. The average newspaper reader might think that it is nothing more than a record of conversation, but in reality the interview demands a great deal of skill and certain definite qualities on the part of the interviewer.”

It is through the medium of the printed interview that the newspaper readers meet by proxy and learn the views and personal characteristics of distinguished personalities in the news.

Role of the Interviewer The interviewer acts as an emissary for those newspaper readers who can never hope to meet and converse with all the important and interesting people that they would like to know. He seeks out the eminent person, asks the questions, takes down his impressions and gives his readers a complete picture of the celebrity’s appearance and characteristics.

Press interviews are interesting for a variety of reasons:

(A) First, the spoken words, quoted verbatim, give life to the story. The personal interview seems to be like talking to each other individually. The description of him in his surroundings helps the reader to see him as he talks.

(B) Second, event explanations and opinions given in the words of one who speaks with authority have greater weight than do the assertions of an unknown writer.

(C’) Third, the interview is equally effective whether the writer’s purpose is to inform, to entertain or to furnish practical guidance. Discoveries, inventions, new processes, unusual methods, new projects and marked success of any kind may be explained to advantage in the words of those responsible for these undertakings.

Types of Press Interviews

All Press interviews may be classified into four categories:

(a) Factual News Interviews

In this type of interview the opinions of an authority on some subjects of current interest are sought and recorded for their news value. Such an interview might be typically headlined:

RUSSIA SNUBS UK & USA IN THE DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE, writes our special correspondent.

(b) Feature or Personality Interview

In this type of interview the stress is laid on the personal trait and point of view of a notable person. For instance:

HE CATCHES THEM ALIVE—RAM SINGH TELLS HOW HE SUPPLIES TIGERS TO ZOOS

(c) Biographical Interview

This type of interview relates the achievements, personal characteristics and philosophical outlook of a distinguished personality. For instance:

FROM TRADE UNIONIST TO CABINET MINISTER–THE SUCCESS STORY OF OUR NEW MINISTER OF DEFENCE

(d) Group Interview

Closely related to the factual news interview is the Group Interview. This type of interview garners the opinions of a number of persons, instead of one person, on some subject of current interest. In the words of Brennecke and Clark, “Quite humble, undistinguished individuals, if they are typical of a class or representative of a large body of opinion, frequently have extremely valuable conversation to offer. For authoritative stuff on labour problems, for instance, the writer may regard an interview with an ordinary long-shore man as of an equal value and, perhaps, more interesting than an interview with a President of corporation or with a noted leader.”

Group Interviews may further be classified into two categories:

(a) Enquiring Reporter Type: This type of interview consists of replies to certain questions by a variety of persons selected at random.

(b) Symposium Type: In this type of interview the statement of the subject is followed by extracts and quotations on the topic by different individuals. These statements are then compared, contrasted, analyzed and interpreted with an idea of arriving at a consensus on a topic by a representative group of citizens, or by members of trade and industry.

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