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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.

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.

In last week’s class, Adrian asked to discuss what research methods I am planning to use. After listening to others, I came to the conclusion of using Action Research and Qualitative Research. Below are just a short summary of these two methods and why I think they are suitable for me.

Action Research: It’s a research method which peruses action and understanding at the same time. Actions research uses spiral process which is guided loosely by movement through five steps of inquiry; 1) Identify problem, 2) Collect and organize information, 3) Study and understand information, 4) Action based on information and 5) Reflection. As mentioned by Adrian, because this research method is participative and qualitative, it is often used for social research where you not only have to find the answer but you also have to find the reason behind that answer.

Qualitative Research: Similar to action research, this method is appropriate for the field so social science. Qualitative research not only allows the researcher to gather in-dept understanding of human action, but also the reason behind that action. Some examples of qualitative research are interview, focus group, open-ended questionnaire and participant observation.

In my project, I’m constantly dealing with human action and their decision making which means, for me, ‘WHY’ is more important than ‘WHAT’. Conducting a large and random survey would not help my project because I need to know why people make certain decision. I need to know why people like certain ads and dislike others, therefore Action Research and Qualitative Research would be perfect for my project.

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