Monday, April 20, 2009

Ya, But What Would Charles Foster Kane Say?


Yesterday, we let you all know that Lotusland's most independent new-media empire, Public Eye, now has podcasts.


And for the launch, we pointed you towards Sean Holman's interview with Power-Up's Tzeporah Berman, which starts about 25 minutes in, here.

All of which led to an interesting and pretty raucous back-and-forth comment thread (the best kind!) that Mr. Holman himself waded into.

One of the topically relevant digressive sub-themes of the thread was the "take no-prisoners", and sometimes derisive, interviewing style of the long-departed, and much revered, iconic old-media iconoclast himself, Mr. Jack Webster.

On that topic, Mr. Holman stuck out his neck way out, and had this to say:

"Personally, the one thing I didn't like about Webster was just how dismissive he could be of his guests. I still remember the famous scene with him turning his back on Svend Robinson during an interview. To my mind, that may be good television. But it's not particularly good journalism. In interviewing, I try to ask as many follow-up questions as possible - pressing the point when I'm getting a non-answer (and telling listeners when that's the case). Of course, you can only push so much because the interview is 30 minutes....."

After a closing statement, Sean then pasted-in in one of those smiley face thingys to, presumably, soften the blow.

But it's still a hard hitting, not to mention a pretty important, point regardless.

Which got me wondering....

Which tactic/interviewing style gets the most information on the record that folks with enquiring minds can go back and mine further later?

To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what the answer is.

I do, however, know that I got more out of Mr. Holman's interview with Ms. Berman yesterday than I have gotten from any other proMedia piece I've read, listened to, or watched, in the last couple of weeks.


And thanks also to...... il postino, Jeff Barkley, G West, Alison, and the Goodship Watercarrier's most persistent nemesis, Brian in Garden Bay, for their contributions to the discussion!
And just so the other old-timers out there know.....
I tried my darndest to shoehorn a 'Precisely!' or seven into this post but it just felt gratuitous somehow....



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