The Interview as a journalistic genre: how to change the world by asking questions

What is the interview and what is its purpose? What are the first steps in realizing an interview? How do we ask questions and why the documentation is important for the interview? These and many other new things the CSAJ students learned during the Interview course, taught by Mihaela Gherasim, a journalist with a rich experience in television and radio, media and communication consultant.

The three days of the course focused mainly on the practical aspects of the interview as a journalistic genre. The students have learned about the possibilities and the means of getting information – the key element for making a documented, structured and successful interview. Other topics discussed during the lessons were: the purpose and the way of interviewing (face to face, by phone, by e-mail); types of interviews (opinion interview, analysis, testimony, portrait); the choice of subject and interviewee; wording of questions; interviewing of uncomfortable, evasive and hostile sources, rules of behaviour during the interview. Mihaela Gherasim is convinced that all these things will help the future journalists ask pertinent questions and be able to react when the interlocutor tries to bypass the answer.

The practical part was the strongest point of the course. Every participant wrote an interview and analyzed it together with the trainer and his /her colleagues, and in the end all concluded that the interview is not only an objective way to inform journalistically, but also an opportunity to (re)discover a person or develop the topic of the discussion and illustrate it with new and significant details for the public. At the same time, the trainees concluded that some interviews can be transformed into developed news. You just need to check if you have the answers to the questions Who? What? Where? When? How? Why?

This week, at CSAJ, the Long Articles and Fact-checking courses will take place.