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*The title of this blog was quoted from the book listed below.

I found a pretty relevant book in the RMIT library for my project.

Kvale, S and Brinkmann, S 2009, Interviews; Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing, 2nd Edition, SAGE Publications, Inc., the United States of America

The authors provide a fare amount of information on how to conduct a successful interview; from what kind of preparations and skills are needed, how to talk to people from different cultures, how to conduct a focus group interview, ways to prevent ethic problems, how to prepare the right questions for the interview to different ways of reporting gathered information after the interview.

I shall write more about this book once I finish with it.

Today, after my Communication Revolutions class, I had to go to the library to photocopy my passport. While I was waiting for the copier, I started talking to a guy who’s studying journalism. Then he told me about this educational video, ‘The Technique of Television Interviewing: with Mike Minehan’. I straight away went to the AV section in the library and look for this video. It’s a very old video but surprisingly very informative. This video uses segments from Australian current affair programs as examples of what to do and what not to do during an interview. The aim of this program is to educate people the important aspects of interviewing techniques.

1) Ask Accurate Questions

One of the most important factors in interviewing is the questions themselves. Question has to be accurate and specific. The interviewee will sometimes avoid answering questions when you ask vague questions.

2) Listen – React – Persist

This way, point said by interviewee can be clarify and followed up. Interviewer sometimes should abandon prepared questions and talk about immediate issues being raised.

3) Thorough Research

This allows interviewer to know what detail to seek during interview and when the interviewee is not telling the truth.

4) Objectivity

A good interviewer should never take sides and should always remain neutral.

6) Encouraging Questions

The way you seek information determine weather you’ll have a good interview or not. The best way is gradual and logical way. In addition, you should always be polite to the interviewee to get anecdote and amazing details.

7) The Use of Silence

Interviewer should always know when to remain silent. The art of silence is very important even though not many people realize this fact.

While I was going through last week’s class reading, ‘Researching lived experience: human science for an action sensitive pedagogy’ by Max Van Manen, I came across a headline that interest me so I started reading. The headline reads ‘Silence – the Limit and Power of Silence’. Here, the author describes how human science research operates under various different categories of silence.

1) Literal Silence:

This is simply when we know it’s better to stay silent than to say or write anything. When writing an essay, it’s always better to not write everything you know. Instead we have to select the best information and write just enough. This act of writing what you know is known as literal silence.

2) Epistemological Silence:

This is a kind of silence when you know that you know about something but you just somehow cannot find the right words or construct a proper sentence for it. The author also explains how this is the reason why we quote other writers, because someone else has written what we couldn’t.

3) Ontological Silence:

The author describes this as “the silence of being or life itself”. It’s when you’re in the moment of greatness or fulfillment which then makes you speechless.

For some reason I was very amazed by this reading. I never really took notice but in a way the author is saying that silence complements writing and speech (maybe only I read it this way). I thought there was something very romantic about that… It was a very good reading to do before I go to sleep. Good Night.

I’m still thinking about what I said in my ‘Changeling’ blog post. It’s true how Changeling showed the importance of Human Rights and that all human being is innocent until proven guilty (article 11 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights). But do you sometimes think that now it’s so much easier for people to bend the law? There are a lot of criminals who get out of jail sentences for many different reasons. Then I suddenly thought of a Japanese film titled ‘Death Note’. The film is about a law student named Light who is hungry for justice. One day he went through the police database of criminals and learnt how many criminals are set free due to various reasons; not enough evidence, momentary insanity etc… When he discovered a death note and realized that just by writing people’s name in this book, people will die, he started killing all criminals who were set free. It’s very hard to say weather what he did is correct or not but in reality these cases really do happen. So many different and complex laws were created in order to protect human rights but now these laws are preventing the authority to put criminals in jail. In the film, this issue was also raised. Some agreed by saying ‘because of him the crime rate has decrease’ but on the other hand there are people who think that he should have just left this kind of things to the authority because it’s their job. Funny how something created to prevent people from exploiting Human Rights now is in a way endangering the human race (maybe I’m exaggerating here a little). As people always say, whatever it is, if it becomes extreme it’s not good anymore. I think this is a very interesting issue and I would love to hear people’s comment about it.

Task from Class 4

In last week’s class, I was asked to look for projects or thesis that uses the methodology I am interested in using for my own project; this includes focus group and interview. I want to use these two methods mainly because I want to stay as close to ‘PEOPLE’ as possible. Because I am doing an advertising project which relies heavily on human response, I think it’s a good idea for me to always be aware of what people think and feel. When discussing this in class with Sarah and Royce, I came to the conclusion that maybe focus group is not such a good idea. The reason for this is simply when you put a group of people together there is always one person who will act as a trend-maker (most of the time they do this unconsciously of course) and the rest will just be the follower. This means, it’s very hard for me to know for sure weather they’re saying what they’re saying because they really feel that way or because they are just following the trend-maker. So I have decided to focus on interview (at least for now). After going through some projects, done by previous years, I came across a lot of students who use interview as one of their research methods. Below are just some examples and short description of what they did. They use ‘interview’ in their own way to investigate different problems. I think this will come in handy for me.

Curbing the ‘epidemic’ by Tess Michalski:

She conducted a formal, semi-structured interview with campaign manager to find out the process of campaign development. Using this method, she was able to talk directly to people involved in the campaign production and therefore gained the insight of how and why they created such campaign.

Blink by Iz Sulaini:

He also conducted semi-structured interviews with few people working in advertising industry from different countries. Through his in-depth interview with many very influential people in advertising, he was able gain various insights from people who have experienced the difficulty of having to create ads for different cultures.

Taking communications seriously by Fairlie Cottril:

Her interview, unlike Tess and Iz’s interview was undertaken with two different groups of industry based participants. The first group is from the non-profit organizations and the second group is from companies that provide services to these non-profit organizations. This way, she was able to see two different point of view.

The more traditional form of research method, ‘Literature Review’ also seems like a popular choice among students.


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