Media interviews conducted by the journalists are often a fact finding mission that provide background information. These interviews may be a simple first-hand account or sometimes takes the form of an inquisition. Press journalists are supposed to interview all kinds of different people during the course of their career, irrespective of the area of the media they work in. For a successful press media interview, it is not just enough to ask questions and take notes while listening to the answers. First of all, it is not that easy to make notes while listening to the interviewee. Secondly, if you are handling a slick subject, you may have to pay attention to the body language of the interviewee to pick up non-verbal clues, in addition to the actual content. That’s why journalists prefer to record the interview and transcribe it later to write their articles or present their reports effectively.
Whether you intend to transcribe the recordings on your own or opt to have it done by a media transcription service provider, the following steps will help ensure effective reporting.
- Use an Appropriate Interview Technique – Interview techniques depend upon the medium. For video or audio, ask two-part questions to encourage subjects to talk for a longer duration of time. If you are interviewing for print, break up questions to get shorter and more concise answers so that it will be easier to insert quotes later. Try to be more conversational with interviews. Nodding and smiling will encourage the conversation and keep the recordings clean. Have your subject re-enact the story so as to avoid too much of your own narration.
- Carry a Back-up Device – You should use good recording equipment for the interview. Even if you are using a high quality, expensive device, it is sensible to carry a back-up recording device. Your efforts would go wasted if the recording stops in the middle of the interview.
- Prepare Thoroughly – Whether it is a one-to-one interview or one with multiple interviewees, you need to prepare thoroughly to ask the right questions. Know what questions you are going to ask and why. Having a clear idea about what your goals and what want you want to get out of the interview is critical to your success.
- Good Rapport with the Subject – Building good rapport with your subject can promote a smooth interview. Relax and ensure that the interviewee is relaxed too. It is always a good idea to speak with the interviewee in advance about the interview to build trust and explain what the focus is.
Before using the transcript for writing your article, check all the facts and make sure there are no errors.