It’s Tuesday morning and you’re busily catching up on work at your desk when the phone rings.. It’s a journalist wanting to ask you a few questions about some breaking news – a topic you happen to know quite a bit about.
Whether it’s a request for a TV or radio interview or someone looking for a quick quote for a newspaper article, you can significantly enhance your preparedness by asking some key questions of your own about the context:
What kind of interview is it?
Is the journalist after a quick on-the-spot quote for a newspaper article, or are you being ‘pre-interviewed’ by a radio or TV producer to see if you’re the right fit for their program? Make sure you know what you’re dealing with right off the bat.
If it’s a broadcast interview (radio or TV):
If it’s an interview for a print or online article:
“Given the complex nature of the issue and how unfamiliar it is to most members of the public, I would be happy to check the scientific or technical accuracy of any relevant explanations before publication, if that would be helpful.”
Of course, today’s speedy technological changes and the rise of social media mean the lines are blurring between types of media, with more newspapers featuring video on their websites, and with more broadcast outlets focusing on creating web content. If you have a question about what they want from you and how they’ll be using your interview, never hesitate to ask.
In the meantime, if you missed Shari’s post recent post featuring advice from CBC Ottawa journalists, you can read that here.