NPR Radio Interview Analysis

I listened to a story called Taken by the Taliban: A Doctor’s Story of Captivity, Rescue on October 12 on the program All Things Considered on NPR. Before beginning the actual interview, the interviewer got three to four quotes from the the interviewee, Dr. Dilip Joseph, to introduce him and give background on his career. Dr. Joseph then told the story of his tenth trip to Afghanistan, where he came face-to-face with the Taliban. The interview was presented as both a traditional interview, with bits of narration by the interviewer throughout the story. Rather than asking lots of questions or building up to questions, the interviewer seemed to have a step-by-step plan. He filled in information throughout the interview. It was almost like a performance, where the interviewer would tell listeners what happened while Dr. Joseph described each scene of the incident. The interview was definitely more organized than impromptu. There were few inadequate answers, if any at all, but if a response did not satisfy the interviewer, he encouraged Dr. Joseph to say more by commenting on his statements. The interviewer and interviewee’s relationship was formal. They did not directly speak to one another; instead they cohesively reported Dr. Joseph’s story. I learned that doing your research and knowing your subject is everything in an interview. This interview (like most NPR interviews) was so well-developed that the listener could listen with ease, without confusion, and with certainty that the interviewer knew his subject without question. The story was delivered with perfect timing and different aspects of the story were revealed at the right time (one soldier did die in the Taliban encounter, this was revealed in the last two minutes of the interview).

WC: 283


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