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Thoughts on the audio interviewing process

August 31, 2010

I am much more aware about incidental background noises after doing several taped interviews. In the past any tape recordings I’ve done have been to get the information from the interviewee (and protect me as a journalist) with little regard to presentation.

wikicommonsI am now much more aware of things to watch out for, in particular the interviewee making distracting sounds while being interviewed, such as clicking feet on a surface and a squeaky chair rocking back and forth.

In my last podcast with Roger I decided to interview him outside, with the aim of getting more of the environmental context (given I’m talking about activities in an outside environment). I underestimated the amplifying sound of the wind (even though we were sitting in the boot of the car) and how annoying background noises -a barking dog and cars driving past – were.

My other issue with the format was that for my thesis research I will be doing extensive interviews, at least an hour long -although I haven’t worked out the questions yet. But shorter podcasts work better (knowing the length I’ll listen to before I turn it off).

So, because I was aiming for a largely unedited interview, with my questions to some extent dictating the narration, I decided to instead do a short, practice interview (as well as to fit the assessment format of between 5 to 15 mins in length). Hopefully I can still return to those I interviewed for more extensive interviews if needed later on.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 11:19 pm

    I noticed in one of my interviews a bad habit of mine. I kept saying ‘ah huh’ ‘yes’ ‘really’ and things like that. So the sound is certainly an issue, especially if you want to play the sound through a podcast etc. I also noticed that when the interviewee got excited about what they were talking about, they would bump the table. This sound was not noticeable at the time but was frighteningly loud on the recording.
    My podcast about ‘Melodies’ is sound recorded from my front porch, no chance of an interview there 😉
    But the bellbirds are nice.

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