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BLOG: THE IMPORTANCE OF THE INTERVIEW

15 October 2014

Question-asking will never cease to inform and entertain

In the latest edition of his monthly blog, Senior Club Journalist Ben Mouncer champions the interview and Norwich City TV's latest take on it.

THE eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed something a bit different pop up on our channels last weekend.

Saturday saw Norwich City TV tease a new series of interviews with a twist.

I was in the room when our Digital Editor Max Bell sat Bradley Johnson and Elliott Bennett down with designs of having them coax laughter, lines and legend out of one another.
 


It was a triumph and I can confidently say that the best is yet to come, but its launch helps facilitate a discussion about one of the most traditional roles in journalism: the interviewer.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the BBC’s Football Focus televised a feature-length, all-bases-covered interrogation of Roy Keane, who, as you will have noticed (unless you’ve been on a space expedition), has recently released his second block of autobiography.

Sat opposite the ex-Manchester United captain was Kevin Kilbane; an enthusiastic pundit, a thoroughly decent chap - and also a former international teammate.

While our ‘player v player’ sit-downs will be produced to entertain with humour, the Keane/Kilbane conversation will have been constructed with more sober intentions.


The principle advantage of familiarity is that the interviewer has an established connection with the interviewee prior to the conversation, something a skilled journalist will always strive for.

Achieving the balance between that and maintaining impartiality – one of the core principles of journalism – is extremely difficult, highly rewarding and often only mastered by the very best in the field.

Closer to home, BBC Radio Norfolk’s Chris Goreham has been forced to find that balance this season when quizzing City chief Neil Adams, his former ally in the commentary box.

He’s succeeded so far, mainly down to his professionalism but also because of the nature of the Canaries’ results up to now. Having stumbled through a few of these myself on Norwich City TV, there is no doubt about it – interviewing a happy manager is much more straightforward than talking to an unhappy one.


Thousands of voices, qualified or not, can be heard on any given topic in the social media age, but a well-carved interview is still very powerful.

This notion helps the medium of radio especially remain hugely significant and popular, but it doesn’t just sit true in broadcasting. Across all forms of journalism, the interview, conversation, interrogation – however you want to define it - is a staple part and, more often than not, the root.

Almost every single news or feature item you read concerning Norwich City and beyond has come after somebody asked a question. It truly is the simplest yet one of the most vital cogs in the media machine.

The strength and versatility of the interview is why, when we had the idea of City’s stars asking each other those questions, we thought it would be a winner. We hope you’ll agree.

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