1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Sports Media Guide

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Moddy ... let me clarify and retract a bit (I have been known to spew a bit of hyperbole on this site, ya know) ... I'm not a fan of the people that I deal with that ask NOTHING but the talk about question. (Mostly radio types who don't know how to ask a real question.) More specifically, the talk about question that deals with a total generality.

    Talk about Jake Plummer.
    In what context? Seems like just fishing for a sound bite. And the subject probably won't understand exactly what you're trying to get at anyway.

    Talk about your decision to switch from a 1-3-1 press to a man defense in the second half.
    Now that's specific, and you'll probably get a pretty decent response that opens the door to other questions.

    I think that makes sense.

    Passy ... I know exactly of what you speak of. Just get to the point, please. Nothing more awkward than spewing out a 30-second question and then having the subject going, 'uh, can you repeat that?'
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    And I agree.
    Talk about has to have a specific something to talk about in there.
  3. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    Talk about something else already.
  4. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    The first 100 times I heard someone ask an athlete/coach to "Talk about ..." I didn't like it, either, but I've come around to Moddy's side of the argument. Ffrankly, I don't hear a lot of masterfully crafted questions in most post-game settings and press conferences. Generally, you're trying to elicit someone's thoughts or insights about a certain play or moment of the game. Asking someone to "talk about" it usually does the trick. Then you can have all of the artful and clever follow-ups that you want.
  5. SCEditor

    SCEditor Active Member

    I agree with Moddy on "talk about." I use it, because it gets a coach or player going, then you can ask follow-up questions. The best way to get a person to give you a good, honest answer is to give them free reign. Then you can get the exact quote, or quote you're looking for on a certain topic after that. I also think it opens them up more than pigeon-holing a conversation.

    I had a coach, back when I was a sophomore in high school writing for the school paper, who gave me the best advice when interviewing a coach. Don't make it "Question, answer. Question, answer." Make it a conversation, and you'll get better information out of the interview." To me, "talk about" leads to a better conversation than an interrogation-style interview.
  6. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    You're essentially introducing a topic for conversation and giving the interviewee the courtesy of an opening statement before the pointed questions begin. It gets results.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Applause, applause. I've often said we should be in the business of conversing and not interviewing.
  8. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    A columnist I know (and well, work with) treats *almost* every interview as though she/he and the subject are in a bar, having two drinks, casually talking about whatever strikes their fancy.
  9. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    right. talk about your vodka tonic coach.

    there's an art to asking a tough question.

    when alex johnson was acquired by the yankees, henry hecht asked, "Alex, what are your plans for running out ground balls?"
  10. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Well, he could have said "talk about running out ground balls."
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I'll second that vigorously, Moddy. Interviewing has never been my strength, but I've found my most effective interview style is to hit with follow-ups after opening a door for a subject, and often, that door is opened with "talk about" questions.

    It serves several purposes, it gets them talking without being fettered by a line of questioning they want to avoid, it loosens them up, it creates rapport with you and the interview subject, and, when the time comes to ask a tough question, you've generally built up the capital to usually get a decent answer ... unless they're an asshole (or YOU are! :D).

    And from a SE standpoint I also agree with the notion that certain interviewing styles works for different people. Just don't criticize mine.
  12. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Cool site. Always love to hear (or read) writers just talking about the profession. Props to these two guys, hope they keep posting new chats.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page