NPR Hosts on the Art of Interviewing

Article excerpt

* National Public Radio (1995). NPR Hosts on The Art of Interviewing. Washington, D.C.. 17 minute VHS videotape and 16-page booklet, $44.50. Phone: 202-414-2000.

NPR has put together a training video and booklet explaining tips and strategies for conducting successful interviews--interviews that reveal information rather than result in yes/no answers. The video is best suited for those learning a long-form interview style--the conversational style which we associate with NPR. But the information is useful in many journalism and mass communication skills classes which involve gathering information through personal interviews.

Three NPR hosts speak on the tape and explain how they do what they do: Scott Simon of "Weekend Edition Saturday," Ray Suarez from "Talk of the Nation," and Liane Hansen of "Weekend Edition Sunday." They discuss interview preparations, questions, strategies, and tips. These include: gaining the trust of the person you are interviewing; putting the "best" question in the middle after the interviewee has "warmed up" a bit; listening to what is being said; and waiting and staying quiet long enough for the interviewee to answer.

I showed the tape in a broadcast reporting class, and all the students rated it helpful or somewhat helpful. …