Critical Media Questions to Consider When Interviewing
What's the main issue here?
What information do I have?
What information do I still need?
What are the pros about this information?
What are the negatives about this information?
What's interesting about this information?
Force yourself to look for alternatives to the information presented.
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Using Graphs and Pictures
It's often easier to use graphics, graphs, mind maps, flow charts, etc. when representing written information. If you can, turn the written information into a visual representation.
Most of us think in a way which backs up our views; however, we need to be objective. What are your biases?
Subconsciously you may lean towards certain points of view. Kill your beliefs and become neutral with the information.
Do you know anyone who has an entirely different viewpoint from yourself? Talk to them about the information with regards to their point of view. E.G. you may be looking at the information from a left wing perspective. Talk to them and get a right wing perspective. They may spot things that you hadn't considered.
Don't Jump to Conclusions
Analyse the topic etc. from all angles.
Can you trust the numbers and information being used to support this point of view?
Are there assumptions being made with this information?
Is the information reliable and genuine or is it based on an assumption?
Are there alternatives to this information?
What other things do you need to know?
Take the information and come at it from an opposite point of view. Find/create counter arguments to the evidence. Don't just accept the information at face value.
What Are You Taking for Granted?
When researching a topic or interviewing on a subject, ask yourself "what am I taking for granted?"
Is what I'm reading true?
Are there persuasion techniques being used with the information/argument?
Does this information/evidence use emotion instead of sound facts/information?
Are you being forced to conclude a point? Should you explore different viewpoints?
As you study the information, what do you need to keep in mind?
Play with Different Endings
Take the information and create various outcomes.
Who are the main players?
What are their viewpoints?
How does this outcome benefit the main players?
How does this outcome hinder the opposition?
Analyse all outcomes. Invent different outcomes. Who's set to win with your conclusion? Who's set to lose?
What effect will your conclusion have on others?
Who will disagree with your conclusion? What are their main arguments against your conclusion? Do their arguments make sense? If it does, what have you missed?
When creating your final argument, what was the primary information that you based your decision upon? Is that information reliable?
Would new information change your final argument?
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Ashley Cowan runs the Online Radio School where he tutors in radio presenting and media interviewing techniques. He was a BBC World Service, Radio studio manager for nine years. He was also the station manager for Radio Kings, the hospital radio station for Kings College Hospital. Other crimes include being the training manager for K2K Radio & Whitechapel AM.
As a radio presenter, he once hosted radio shows on three FM radio stations. That was back in the day when FM radio was a big deal. The poor radio stations that had to put up with his brand of terrible comedy were: Radio DÅB, FLR 107.3 FM, and City FM.
When he's not writing about himself in the third person, then he was also a community radio DJ at Radio Kings, TGR Sound, Sydenham Radio, and Croydon Radio. He once did production work for Total Rock.com. That was a fun station with a cool owner and a great broadcast team! Brown fizzy water often accompanied the broadcasts!
He's London Irish (so he likes a beer) and he also teaches guitar. He's recently created an online Fingerpicking for Guitar course. There he teaches the art of fingerpicking for erm...guitar. Students can learn twenty different fingerpicking styles for their chords.
is an ex BBC, radio studio manager, and the ex manager of Radio Kings, the hospital radio station for King's College Hospital. He's presented on three FM stations and waaay too many community stations.