NPR has an interesting story
about interviewing. The piece focuses on ESPN, which has brought in John Sawatsky, a former broadcaster and professor, to improve the interviewing skills of its reporters and anchors.
Sawatsky's basic rules are the ones journalism professors teach to print and broadcast students alike:
- Avoid "yes or no" questions.
- Keep questions short and direct.
- Don't use leading language and loaded words.
Sawatsky doesn't stop there, however. He takes on vaunted interviewers such as Larry King, Mike Wallace and Barbara Walters, offering examples of where each of these journalists has fallen short while questioning a subject.