What the interviewee should know

Jotsna Rajan


Last updated on Jan 31, 2023

Posted on Jan 31, 2023

Since it is impossible to interview someone who does not want to be inter- viewed, it is reasonable to assume that the arrangement is mutually agreed. The broadcaster, in contacting a potential interviewee, asks whether an interview might take place. The information that the interviewee needs at this point is:

1 What is it to be about? Not the exact questions but the general areas, and the limits of the subject.

2 Is it to be broadcast live or recorded?

3 How long is it to be? Is the broadcast a major programme or a short item? This sets the level at which the subject can be dealt with and helps to guard against the interviewee recording a long interview without being aware that it must be edited to another length.

4 What is the context? Is the interview part of a wider treatment of the subject with contributions from others or a single item in a news or magazine programme?

5 For what audience? A local station, network use, for syndication?

6 Where? At the studio or elsewhere?

7 When? How long is there for preparation?

No potential interviewee should feel rushed into undertaking an inter- view and certainly not without establishing the basic information outlined above. Sometimes a fee is paid, but this is unlikely in community radio; it is worth making this clear.

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