Five reporter ‘tricks’ to watch out for – MSM #012

In an interview, a journalist’s chief goal is to obtain information – and some reporters are willing to employ some slick tactics to get what they want. They include:

  1. Pretending to take your side on an especially divisive issue to entice you into doing the interview – and possibly let your guard down.
  2. Starting with softball questions, then easing into the tough – or even completely unexpected – questions once you seem to be at ease.
  3. Putting words in your mouth – by planting words they hope you repeat in your answers.
  4. Asking the same question over and over in an attempt to elicit a different – or more detailed – answer.
  5. Using a pregnant pause to bait you into babbling.

Click on the play button below to listen to this week’s episode, on which we discuss the importance of keeping your cool in the face of such tricks, which is the key to staying in control of the interview.

Read more: Check out this article from Matador Network, loaded with tips for journalists on how to employ tactics like “Be a little sneaky” and “Be a little annoying.”

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