News & Entertainment Interviews

News Interview – Frost Over the World – Julian Assange

How was the interviewee introduced?  Frost introduced Julian formally.  He was introduced briefly as the most talked about man in the world at the moment.  He is the founder of the Wikileaks website which is currently releasing over a quarter of a million confidential information and not necessarily top secret American diplomatic cables.  He is currently in the UK fighting extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual behaviour.

The most important facts were introduced first and then the interview began immediately.

2.    What types of questions were asked?  Frost asked the Why, Who, When, Where, What and How questions.  When Julian started to ramble off, he was steered back to the subject, so as not to waste any time.  The questions were frank and not flowery.

3.    How was the potential for conflict managed?  There was no conflict – it was an objective, logical, intelligent and calm interview.

4.    Was humour evident and how?  Due to the seriousness of the topic, no humour was used.  Frost’s most important job was to keep constituency.  His strategy was to inform the audience with balance, impartial, objective and accurate information.

5.    How did the interview conclude?  The interview ended abruptly.  Frost told Julian that they look forward to talking to him again and thanked him for his time.

Entertainment Interview – BBC:  Parkinson and Ewan McGregor

1.    How was the interviewee introduced?  Parkinson introduced Ewan McGregor as a great celebrity and enlightened the audience of the enormous roles he has played in movies.

2.    What types of questions were asked?  The most relevant questions were asked:

  • Why did he do some of the movies?
  • Parkinson allowed Ewan to open up through humour and entertainment
  • According to Barbara Walters, small talk is a smooth ice breaker
  • Parkinson created an atmosphere – better than frankness.
  • Questions were asked from his role played in Star Wars to his Polar bear adventure, maintaining an easy flow of conversation.
  • Parkinson discussed Ewan’s agenda, success and childhood adventures
  • Asked about Ewan’s “moments” in his adventures
  • Parkinson reinforced the angle of the interview.

3.    How was the potential for conflict managed?  There was no conflict.

4.    Was humour evident and how?  Yes, it was very entertaining and humorous.

5.    How did the interview conclude?  Light hearted with a joke and Ewan was thanked for coming onto the show.

6.    What were the differences, if any between the types of interviews?  The main differences between the two interviews was the atmosphere.  The news interview seemed hostile and formal, while the entertainment interview was light hearted and had “feel good” moments.  The news interview started and concluded immediately.  It was serious with no story telling.  The entertainment interview had a story within a story and inspiring.



In our culture (I am South African), we always say hello and how are you?  It does not matter whether you know the person or not, a friend or enemy, you still say hello and how are you?  If it is a friend you might say “Howzit”, meaning ‘hi how are you’ – all in one go.  The next response from the receiving person would be “I’m fine thanks and you”.  It does not matter how you feel, you still say I’m fine thanks (South African attitude).  So, at work or socially I always say Hello to people with a ‘How are you’?  If it is a good customer, I will say ‘Hello, are things well on your side?’

When I say good bye, it is usually ‘Good Bye, have a fantastic day’, if it is a customer.  When it is a friend or colleague, I’ll say ‘Bye, have a great night’.  When I say good bye to my really close girlfriends, it will be ‘Cheers, see you later’.

I really dislike uncomfortable moments and I often find myself talking the biggest amount of nonsense just to fill the silence.  I don’t often have those uncomfortable moments because I talk a lot and ask people about their lives and that keeps the conversation going until intuition kicks in and I know its time to go with a humourous closure.

Writing for Television, Radio, and New Media

Chapter two of ‘Writing for Television, Radio and New Media’ speaks of the execution and production of a script.  Environment impacts on our performance because different production tools and techniques are used for each individual situation.

How will the script be performed?  What medium will be used and to what audience.  A script can be written for Radio, however the same script would need to be modified for TV.

The environment in which the orator finds himself needs to be measured as Chapter two explains.  What sound affects and music will be used?  What camera shots will be used and at what angle?  How will the editing be done?  The director is responsible for these production elements, but it is also vitally important for an orator to understand the making of a script.

When talking on radio or TV, be mindful of the following:

  • Voice, volume and tone;
  • Expression; and
  • Nerves such as fidgeting, crackling, talking too fast or dry throat

‘Professional voice’ is a performance.  Radio and TV presenters perform their broadcasts (they do not sound that way in their personal life).  It is all part of an act.

Radio, TV, film and new media are the main income of news and entertainment and have grown considerably.  Without effectively planning a script (argument and speech), the audience will not pay attention.

The orator must focus all their attention on how they are going to tell the story – what techniques and style will be used?

Chapter two also explains how a person must think when writing a script.  Imagine the performance and make a decision as to the suitability of the audience and the media.

These elements and techniques on how to prepare and conduct a good speech is imperative in today’s competitive media industry, but it can also be very helpful in day to day speech.


Hillard, R.L.2011, Writing for Television Radio and New Media, 10th Ed, Boston, USA

Re-recording of my voice

This is my re-recording of the news.  This news reading is more powerful than the previous recording.  I sound lounder and more confident.  I used a lot of breathing techniques, lifted my chin and put my shoulders back which enabled me to pronounce my words clearly and loud.  Yes, there is definately a difference from the first recording.  A good way was to practise my voice overs.  I re-recorded myself about 3 or 4 times.

I do believe that I need more practice.  I feel that I breathed too many times at different intervals and still not completely confident in some of the pronounciations of the names.  But like anything you try, practice makes perfect.

In Defence of Rhetoric: No Longer Just for Liars

In the web link, the key discussion about Rhetoric are:

  • Dispel
  • Defend
  • Answer

Most people do not understand Rhetoric and that is why it is extremely controversial.  When communicating, the components of an argument should be broken down.  When persuading people, the orator is more self-conscious about practices – they should clear what they are trying to say and tailor to individual situations.

People do not realise, that in today’s modern society, there is Rhetoric every where.  Everybody has to talk at some point and they must have the ability to speak, whether it is for a job interview, going shopping, drawing a picture, communicating with a cab driver or even searching on Google (a person is making a decision as to their career opportunities).

The rhetorical triangle consists of:

  • What messages do we want to create or communicate?
  • Who are the audiences and what are their expectations or needs?
  • Communictor – how to address them.

Choose what to say and how to say it, then the audience can understand, believe and agree with the orator.

Another point the video makes is that Rhetoric is the science which refreshes the hungry, renders the mute, articulates, makes the blind see and teaches one to avoid every lingual ineptitude.  It is not just a language, but also a culture.

Rhetoric is a discipline.  All fields of study are determined by discipline.  Rhetoric is epistemic which is used by everything from mundane to the bible.  Finally, Rhetoric is about making one’s own decision, not somebody else’s.  Gather the facts and start talking….

The Art of Aristotle

Would rhetoric work for speakers who want to outwit their audience and hide their real motives?  So, what does Aristotle say about rhetoric?

Aristotle says rhetoric is the counterpart of dialectic, namely, the discussion and reasoning by conversation in which arguments are persuaded to find truth and lies.

He believes that the audiences of public speech are ordinary people who do not follow an exact proof on the principles of science.  These audiences will lose interested on subjects or issues that they do not relate to.  Aristotle states that the situation detoriates if the constitution, the laws and the rhetorical habits in a country or town are bad.

Some public speeches do not relay all the knowledge – they leave room for doubt; this is important if the person is credible and the audience is in a compassionate frame of mind. The decisions of juries and assemblies is a matter of persuasiveness, not of knowledge (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2010). Certain speakers can be persuasive simultaneously, but it is rhetoric that assists in discovering all means of persuasion on any topic.

The three classes of listeners are:

  • The hearer – must be a judge with a decision to make either past or present.
  • Observer – member of assembly decides a speaker’s skill, and comprises:  political, forensic and ceremonial display.

Political – either to do or not to do something.  Forensic – attacks or defends.  Ceremonial – either praises or censures and is concerned with the present. Aristotle believes that some events occur naturally or by accident.

The absolute art of rhetoric:

Political speeches consists of the following:

  • Ways and Means – the speaker must know and understand the availability of the country’s resources and revenues.  What needs to be increased or decreased to maintain a good economy.
  • Peace & War – know the strength of the military, both actual and potential.  It is important to gain knowledge not only in his own country but also in other countries.
  • National Defence – must understand the various methods of defence – what is the defence force’s strengths and weaknesses and character?
  • Imports/Exports – What resources needs to be outlaid to meet the demands of his country.  What commodoties are produced within his country as well as abroad? Agreements and commercial treaties must be made with the traded countries.
  • Legislation – the most important issue is legislation.  The speaker must understand the country’s laws as it is these laws that it’s welfare depends on.

Aristotle believed that humans gain knowledge from experience, from ecouraging probable knowledge, therefore examining what is the truth of a particular case.

Aristotle spent a great deal of time in his work on rhetoric, talking about virtue and character. He explains the concept of credibility and its importance, but he thought clearly on the subject (Horton 2004).  He entertained the idea that audiences can be persuaded by using emotional words.

Aristotle continues that our judgments, when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile.  He talks a lot about emotions, mood, love, hate, pain and admits that emotions control man.  The speaker will have to speak so as to bring his audience into a frame of mind that will augment these emotions.

Aristotle summarises the arguments available to a speaker in dealing with evidence that supports or weakens a case. These arguments contain laws, witnesses, contracts, tortures, and oaths.

He highlights arete, which is defined as virtue or excellence. When applied to rhetoric, arête means natural rather than forced or artificial.  Metaphors are also addressed as a skill that cannot be taught and should bestow “verbal beauty”.

Aristotle discusses the simile.  Similes are only occasionally useful in speech since they are poetic and their similiarity to a metaphor.  Speaking properly by using connectives, calling things by their specific name, avoiding terms with ambiguous meanings, observing nouns, and correctly using singular and plural words.

Rhythm should be incorporated into a style to make it well “rhythmed” but not to the extent of a poem.  He covers the necessary parts of a speech which include the statement of the proposition and proof of the statement, along with the introduction and conclusion.  The conclusion must contain the following: disposing the hearer favourably toward the speaker and unfavourably to the opponent, amplifying and minimising, moving the hearer into emotional reactions, and giving a reminder of the speech’s main points.

This is the most important single work written on persuasion.