Monday, November 09, 2020

Differences in interview techniques - Geraldine Doogue V Fran Kelly


I spend a fair bit of time listening to radio. One of my all time favourite programs is the ABC's Saturday Extra, hosted by Geraldine Doogue. I always learn something new.

Thinking about this, it's partly a question of topic and guest selection, partly a matter of interview style.

Unlike, say, the ABC's Fran Kelly who uses closed questions in which she states an opinion and then demands that the interviewee agree with it, Geraldine uses more open questions. While she expresses opinions, her questions are more open, more inviting a dialogue. 

I have been listening to Fran for a long time and am fond of her, but do wish that she would change her approach. I accept that there are format differences between the programs including less time that impose additional constraints on Fran. But too often I find myself saying shut-up Fran. You are standing between your guest and me. I know what you believe, I want to find out about your guest's views. And if you want to pin your guest down, you need to change your question format. At the moment, your encourage set piece responses that allow the guest to simply sit on and hold a standard line independent of the question. 


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