Interview: Essence, Appearance and the Reporter's Task Code

By Paunescu, Andrei | Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice, January 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Interview: Essence, Appearance and the Reporter's Task Code


Paunescu, Andrei, Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice


ABSTRACT.

This article attempts to emphasize that the interview is one of the most successful genres, both in journalism and literature. The approach is mostly technical. There are pursued the internal elements of realizing and editing an interview, fact that contributes to the notoriety of this kind of communication. Fundamental elements are brought into discussion, for instance: best known typologies, the question, the questionnaire, the reporter's tools, the vocational training, the final editing and psychological aspects of the interview. The schematic display enables an easier understanding of these elements, to those interested in this exceptional living kind of journalism.

Keywords: interview; dialogue; journalism; reporter; media vehicle; form; essence; appearance; selection

1. Introduction

The relationship between the practical and theoretical, the concrete and abstract aspects, gathers into a set of highlights, reviews, analyses whose goals are the attempts of discovering why the interview is always a fresh and viable genre (Netea, 1983: V-XLIII), no matter what media vehicle is used (written or audio-visual), regardless the quested age of media. The method used in this research involves the approach of the interviews from the mostly objective point of view (technical, theoretical). Technical issues and elements of the theoretical interview are presented. The theoretical approach refers to the constituent parts of the interview, such as a complex activity: typologies, form of presentation, content, media vehicles, training, tools, implementation, partnership, question, performance, errors, editing manners (Päunescu, 2013: 118-119).

2. The Typologies of the Interview

As in any attempt of defining typologies concerning creation and communication, the interview is shown as a reality in which two concepts coexists: complementarity and a fight between substance and appearance, between ore and garment, between content and packaging, namely between substance (essence) and form (appearance). Also, the interview should be understood and accepted as an accumulation of information and opinion, objectivity and subjectivity, being highly integrated both in the informative genre (where the information and the objectivity are the strong tasks), and also in the interpretation genre (in which the commentary, the opinion and the subjectivity are the strong points).

The interview has no thematic boundaries. It can handle any topic: political, economic, social, historical, actually diverse, entertainment, gossip, science, health, culture, art, civilization, education, religion, satire, humor, business, sport, hobby, advertising etc. The interview addresses any ages and genders, in different tones, starting from positive tone (affirmative), to the neutral tone and negative tone (objector), acting in the private or in open public space, in local, regional, national, transnational, global, universal fields (Paunescu, 2013, p. 36-37).

3. Fond (Essence) and Form (Appearance) in Interview

Typologies

a) by content

* According to the general content (theme, role and purpose), where we also identify:

- Interview of a Destiny - personality portrait (Aderca, 2003: 5-28)

- Problem-event interview - situation, issue (Biberi, 1945: 5-13)

- Mixed interview - portrait + issue / event (Paunescu, 1979: 7-11)

* According to the formal content (the publicist genre of reference, which is in a close relationship with: the investigation, the reportage, the portrait, the biography, the essay, the survey, etc.).

b) According to the number of participants and the exclusivity degree:

- Simple interview - author and interviewee (Malamen, 2007: 377, 390)

- Multiple interview (roundtable, talk-show with several co-authors: several reporters +1 interviewee, 1 reporter / moderator + several interviewees)

- Declaration interview (press conference, with answers for everyone). …

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