MU Director Schools Journos in Advanced Interview Skills, Pressers

Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil coached Arab News journalists in the intricacies of interviews and news conferences with an emphasis on good preparation, types of questions to ask, handling difficult interviewees and sources’ credibility.

 

Journalists learn advanced interview skills and coverage of news conferences

The virtual workshop in July 2021 began with an impromptu mock interview scenario requiring the trainees to prepare questions for the trainer, take notes, write a news item based on the interview, prepare hashtags for social media, shoot pictures and write captions. The assignment was edited in a later session.

 

Editing interview news item

Abu-Fadil focused on research, provided multiple case studies of good and bad interviews, logistical matters in preparation for interviews and press conferences, how to select interviewees, media ethics and legalities, and the uses of quotations.

 

Video of late talk show host Larry King explaining success of good interviews is listening

Other elements included accurate attribution, ground rules, anonymous sources, virtual vs in-person interviews and press conferences as well as steps to follow before, during and after such conferences.

Accuracy key to good journalism: Abu-Fadil

Getting it right topped the list of tips Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil offered journalists at Al Arabiya’s English website during an informal chat in Dubai.

Magda Abu-Fadil addresses Al Arabiya’s English website team

Magda Abu-Fadil addresses Al Arabiya’s English website team

Abu-Fadil said elementary rules like spelling people’s names correctly and ensuring their titles were precise should not be overlooked since they were the corner stones of good reporting.

She also cautioned participants, several of whom she trained in October 2012, not to rush and publish information before verifying it from multiple sources, noting that rumors and other questionable news and visuals filled the Internet, leading to many a journalist’s downfall.

Abu-Fadil recounted some of her adventures as a foreign correspondent and editor and how she had transitioned from being a traditional journalist to a blogger and media trainer.

Abu-Fadil with Al Arabiya English website editor in chief Faisal Abbas

Abu-Fadil with Al Arabiya English website editor in chief Faisal Abbas

The event dubbed “Accuracy: How it could make us, or break us,” was part of an Al Arabiya English website General Assembly in March 2013.