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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Training to enhance interviewing techniques for journalists

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“I have two missions [in The Gambia]; one is to work with the GPU and teach [journalists] how to interview,” Danish trainer, researcher and journalist Rasmus Stooby said. “I also have a course teaching blogging. I am teaching them [journalists] interview techniques, how to phrase a good question, who to talk to, how to make their stories specific, concrete and relevant, but specifically focused on the interview part of it.

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“I am training professional, experienced journalists in The Gambia. People who have worked in journalism before and who have experience and have a good idea of what it means to be a journalist,” Stooby further said of his purpose at the GPU.

He added: “My hope and expectation is that when we are done, the participants will be able to formulate a very specific angle before going into an interview. They should know exactly what to ask and make sure that they have an idea about what kind of answers to expect, to be able to control the interview. They should be able to avoid confrontation but have a dialogue with the person that you are interviewing , but maintaining control so that it is the journalist who asks the questions and the interviewee  answers them.”

Stooby, who is also a researcher, said he expects “two things” from journalists after the completion of the six-day training: “One is that they feel that they have become smarter, that they can find a way to combine their experiences as professional journalists with the information I gave them to improve their journalism even more. I want to learn something from Gambian journalists about how to be a journalist in The Gambia and also in Africa in general. It is different from Denmark, where I am from. So I am hoping to learn from them as well. 

Further sharing words of wisdom with the participants, Stooby who is currently specialising in African studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, preached: “The only way is to learn, is to work for it. That is the only way you learn.”  

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