Art of the interview

Jun 14, 2018

The art of the political interview: tips for news players

Young journo? Newbie politician? Crikey talked to the experts for tips on how the get the best out of an interview (or at least, avoid the worst).

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis


media microphones

Over the past couple of weeks we've looked at the good, the bad, and the Abbott of Australian political interviews, and spoken to some of the best journalists and most prominent politicians in the country. So what have we learned? Consider this our conclusion; a primer on the dos and do not dos for rookie journos and politicians looking to get the most out of an interview.

For pollies

Engage with the question

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4 thoughts on “The art of the political interview: tips for news players

  1. leon knight

    Politicians have always been masters of bending the truth, but this LNP outfit has mastered dressing up pure bullshit as truth…..learnt a lot of their skills from Murdoch and his lackeys (including the IPA).

  2. Robert Smith

    The interviewer should be better at asking the follow up question when the politician is just giving the talking points so they are encouraged to expand on the topic – so they either expose the fact they have nothing beyond the talking points or say something silly.

  3. Pollietragic

    The questions you rarely hear from a journalist – How do you explain /justify that? What’s your reasoning to say that? or Why do you say that?
    Usually, the politician just trots out and boringly repeats their prepared speaking points, and the interviewer meekly accepts it and moves on to their next prepared question. That’s a disservice to the audience, and socially damaging.

    Politicians obviously fail to address the question, but are trained to pick out one phrase or word of the question to repeat their lines, giving a perception that they attempted to answer the question.
    Due to our mainstream media monopolisation, journalists have limited career options in Australia. I believe that factor affects the courage of all journalists. The are early examples that the growth of professional on-line journalism may encourage incisiveness and courage eg. Buzzfeed breaking the AFP raid with advance media notification.

    1. Pollietragic

      And of course, analysis by BK and Crikey journo’s!

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