What students and media interviewees can learn from each other

What students and media interviewees can learn from each other


We’ve been talking to a lot of students this month and they demonstrate perfectly how the media have changed - both in how news is delivered and how it’s consumed.

Many have blogs and YouTube channels, giving them the opportunity to bring their passions - whether that's writing about fashion or reviewing the latest movies - to a wider audience. And when it comes to consumption, they’re far more in control than say, just five years ago, eschewing broadcast schedules to watch or listen to what they want when they want - usually on their phones, not via TVs or radios.

But as they dine out on a diet of blogs, vlogs and Snapchat Stories, there’s a temptation for them to see journalism as only opinion-based, or to view it alongside marketing and PR in some sort of giant media “mash-up”, with all boundaries blurred.

So it’s important to ensure that whether they - or you - are facing an interview for a university place, en route to landing media job, or are about to face a media interview as a company spokesperson, you don’t lose sight of what journalists are all about.

And despite the huge changes in the media-sphere, the essence of reporting has not altered. What lies at the core of journalism, whether you’re a purveyor or consumer, is the same.

Reporters are still driven by long-held values and demands:


  • they’re after facts - what’s happened, why did it happen, who was involved etc..?


  • they focus on the audience - does that audience, for example, shop at M&S or Harrods? Would they typically drive a Ford or a Ferrari?


  • they know curious minds find the best stories


  • they’re acutely aware that journalism calls for full use of the senses - they’re looking, listening, hearing (and over-hearing) and scenting a good story


  • they’re persistent and determined - a door slammed in their faces is merely the spur to finding another route, not the reason to walk away.


All this shows that while news channels have changed, the reason to find the stories has not.

That’s a timely lesson for aspiring journalists and their future interviewees….


AB Business Training runs workshops to help everyone - from students to Board members - to communicate more effectively.

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