Monday, April 09, 2012

Pitch to Contact

Peter Funt on The Lost Art of the Live Interview:

Interview questions should come quickly and cleanly. Yet on a recent broadcast of CBS's "Face the Nation," Bob Schieffer began two questions of Newt Gingrich with the extraneous phrase, "Let me ask you," and then he asked consecutive questions of Ron Paul that began, "Let me ask you this question." On CNN's "State of the Union," Candy Crowley asked six questions during one program that all began with forms of "Let me ask . . ."

The best interviewers do their homework, put their own opinions aside, keep questions brief, and listen closely for possible follow-ups. Live interviews are among the few elements in journalism not significantly affected by technology; they can't be replaced by blogs or tweets. But TV hosts too often fall short.

Amen. Too many TV interviews are all about long wind ups from the hosts with no pay off.