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Interviewing the Interviewer (vulture.com) 94

Terry Gross, NPR's The Fresh Air host, on the art of the Q&A: "People are always projecting things. They're hearing things that weren't said or projecting meaning that was not intended and, perhaps, not even implied. I've gotten both insults and compliments for interviews I've never done. What can you do? There's no way of controlling what people think. I do have a bullshit detector and it's something I'll use, but I do think I try and be empathetic to everyone I interview," said Terry Gross.
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Interviewing the Interviewer

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  • The nerd connection (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DrTJ ( 4014489 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @10:38AM (#55921511)

    So this is an interview where one interviewer interviews and another interviewer who usually interviews some famous people?

    Where's the nerd connection? Is it that the nerds among us would start genering jokes about the meta-levels of interviewing?

    Can we reach level three here by having a slashdot Q&A with the author? Level four, anybody?

    • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @11:34AM (#55921685) Homepage Journal

      Terry Gross is probably the best in the world at what she does. I find that interesting. How did she get that way? Well it turns out that fear of not being good enough is at least part of what makes her good at her job. I find that interesting too.

      How did she end up doing what she does? She failed at something else (being a writer). That's something that resonates in tech.

      And she talks about making the trolls angry.

      But ultimately being exposed to different information than you're used to isn't tantamount to an injury. It's good for you, just like reading an article on technology would be good for someone who mainly reads about public affairs, or art history.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by quonset ( 4839537 )

        But ultimately being exposed to different information than you're used to isn't tantamount to an injury. It's good for you,

        Which is why Republicans are continually trying to kill NPR. It exposes people to different ideas, different points of view, different lifestyles, different people. That can't be allowed to happen.

        Imagine the chaos which would ensue if people could get information about what was happening not only in their country, but around the world, and not be told what to think.

      • by PCM2 ( 4486 )

        Terry Gross is probably the best in the world at what she does.

        Wow, I just couldn't disagree more. I stopped listening to her years ago because of her softball interviewing style, with questions that are either uninformed or ignorant or that just plain miss the point. If her interview subjects end up saying really interesting things, it's not because of anything Terry Gross did. I think she's really terrible, and I'm not talking about political interviews, either. If she had Guillermo del Toro on, I expect she'd ask him how he first got interested in water.

      • by DrTJ ( 4014489 )

        While I listen to public radio for an hour or so every day, I had never heard of this woman before.
        I had never even heard of NPR, or that the Republicans (as per below) wanted to shut down the NPR.

        Not every slashdot reader lives in the american culture frame of reference.

        Well, another day where I learned something.

      • I’m really not fond of her interviewing style. I find that, like many seasoned journalists, she rarely lets her guests develop their thoughts for more than a few seconds, interrupting them and then speaking as much (if not more) than them. She has the irritating tendency to feed words to her guests (at least, those who are less comfortable speaking than her), starting a line of thought for them (as in “It must have felt so blah blah such and such. How did you feel when blah blah blah?”) an

        • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

          Yeah. I learned in high school that you ask open-ended questions and let them give you their answer. Extensive projection, suggestion, and exposition, often leading to a yes-or-no response, is the opposite of what you want. I guess Terry is going for a more conversational process, but the more she talks, the more uncomfortable I get listening, and usually give up pretty quickly.

    • by kencurry ( 471519 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @02:12PM (#55922321)
      Sometimes she roots out weird stuff and tech you would never have guessed. I remember her interview with a Dr. so & so who wrote a bio on Kellogg family. their story had weird religion & social engineering, but also very science oriented. Legit nutrition science for cereals as a quick breakfast for children back when that was not a simple thing. I learned a lot on that interview. So, yeah, there is good nerdy tech in her interviews, but it's surrounded by thoughts and stories of the artists, scientists, people etc.
  • Astute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Saturday January 13, 2018 @10:59AM (#55921581)
    Say what you will about Terry Gross, but she is an astute observer and has a breadth of knowledge about human psychology from the sheer number of years that she has spent interviewing and studying people. I find her personally overbearing and a little annoying but I will give her the credit she is due. However, I do like it when her bullshit-o-meter hits critical mass and she can no longer hold back. People need a good solid dose of reality at times.

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein

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