Wednesday, 4 April 2007

How do you feel?

Of all the inanities loved by the lazy reporter, the question "how do you feel?" must rank at the top. Your brother is held hostage in Iran - how does that make you feel? Your baby is dying from some appalling disease - how does THAT make you feel? Your employer has moved its manufacturing base to China - so, how do you feel? Your friends have just been in a major car crash - tell me, how does that feel?

The art of intelligent interviewing is far from dead - it goes on every day in all parts of the media - but regional TV continues to be of a lower order, stuffing cameras and microphones in the faces of people clearly feeling bereft, dazed, at their lowest ebb. It's amazing that folks laid low by circumstance don't turn viciously on their interviewer with a blue-blasted version of "how do you think I feel?". If someone agrees to be on camera at a difficult time, at least give them the courtesy of framing a question that can bring an answer that offers some enlightenment to the viewers.

4 comments:

mutterings and meanderings said...

'How do you feel?' along with questions that can be answered with 'yes' or 'no' are the first things journalism tutors tell you never to ask!

Mopsa said...

I didn't know that. So why do they keep breaking the golden rule? Any ideas?

mutterings and meanderings said...

Journalists invariably do what is easy for them! Also, a lack of imagination!

Chip Dale said...

I'm always amazed that people actually reply to a question that's effectively: 'How does it make you feel that I can't be bothered to come up with a sensible question at this sensitive time?'

I know what I'd tell them.