Friday, January 12, 2007

Good Interviewers Make A Big Difference

Quite often I listen to CBC Radio One to and from work. For those unfamiliar with Radio One, it is a talk radio format with lots of different interviews and interviewers throughout the day. On the way home it is normally "Here and Now" hosted by Matt Galloway. He is an example of an excellent interviewer. He actually listens to the answers his guests give and asks intelligent follow up questions. When he was off for a few weeks this year, I tried to listen to his replacement (Mary Ito I think), but after a couple of days - despite the content being almost the same, I stopped listening to the program because the interviews were so boring and I couldn't stand the facile interpretation the host brought to the table. In fact I would tune in just long enough to determine if Matt Galloway was back or not.

Last week Matt hosted "The Current" in the morning and did an excellent job spelling for Anna Marie Tremonti.


cjg said...

The one thing that is great about the CBC is they have some excellent interviewers. And some not so much. Mary Ito did the morning show for awhile and I really didn't like the way she presented interviews. She, like the other interviewers I don't care for, seemed to have a set of questions to ask and won't move from that. The ones that are worse are the ones that are flexible and drive to try and elicit the response they desire, despite repeated questions from different angles. Anna Maria is like that sometimes, but at times it yields interesting results from the questioner.

To be honest, I guess Matt Galloway is so good I don't notice his interviews - they flow really well.

Peter J. said...

Occasional commentator and official CBC blogger Tod Maffin used to have a podcast called How To Do Stuff. I've kept one he did with Michael Enright called How to Interview Someone in which it's pointed out that a good interviewer listens to the interview subject. It's surprising how many don't.

(Enright also owns up to "the dumbest question I've ever asked": when talking to a subject on As It Happens about a religious leader who'd recently died, he asked "Well tell me, the archbishop, was he a religious man?")

I don't get to hear her live very often, but Shelagh Rogers is another excellent interviewer; hooray for Sounds Like Canada: The Digital Extra, which gives me a Shelagh fix on demand.

mikem said...

I'm pretty sure that Matt is the new friday host for The Current.