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The Quality Interview: Getting It Right on Both Sides of the Mic by Tony Seton


Ask it right...   Say it right...   Be understood...   Be convincing

The ultimate guide to successful interviewing, "The Quality Interview: Getting It Right on Both Sides of the Mic," provides a wealth of basic instruction and professional tips for both the questioners and the answerers.
 
After decades of watching people stumble through poorly-conducted interviews, veteran broadcaster Tony Seton put his observations of the problems and the solutions into this how-to guide. "The Quality Interview" outlines the basics and delves into the particulars of "Getting It Right on Both Sides of the Mic."

Tony has interviewed more than a thousand people from every walk of life and political stripe. He does real interviews, those designed to evoke interesting and important information. In 2006, Tony inaugurated two interview series on the Quality News Network: one with Special Guests including civic leaders and social pioneers, and a second with political challengers in the 2006 elections.

While this is primarily a guide for reporters and those whom they would interview, the information will be useful for a great many people not involved in media. Indeed, whether you are interviewing for a job or trying to explain your crazy Aunt Edna to the co-op board, the tips found in these pages will make for a more successful outcome. There are myriad do’s and don’ts that can assist interviewers in collecting information and interviewees in delivering it, both more effectively. The book will also be of interest to readers, viewers and listeners.

This book is a how-to guide for interviewers and interviewees to conduct their interviews most effectively. Especially for reporters and talk-show hosts talking to politicians, authors and celebrities, "The Quality Interview" offers a wealth of information on the essentials of having a good interview and presents pages of experience-taught tips on how to deliver the message effectively.

"The Quality Interview" is also a tremendous tool for people who have important interviews or meetings, public speeches or testimony before a grand jury. It’s for the corporate executive who has exciting news about a surge in the company’s stock, as well as for the public relations person who has to explain why the CEO tried to burn down the warehouse. Or for someone seeking a job. This book tells you how to have a successful interview.

For the latest on Tony Seton, please go to his main website .. TonySeton.com.

"The Quality Interview" was written by award-winning broadcast journalist Tony Seton who once produced Barbara Walters’ news interviews and now conducts his own for the Quality News Network. Tony Seton Tony was a producer with ABC Network Television News for whom he covered Watergate, five space shots, and six elections. For 18 months he produced Barbara Walter's news interviews. He won a number of national awards for his coverage of business and economics issues, and later for two public television documentaries. He has worked in local and network, public and commercial, television and radio.

Don't Mess with the Press by Tony Seton

           
In 2003, Tony wrote and published, "
Don't Mess with the Press," a textbook on how to write, produce and report quality television news.

 


In January 2006, Tony launched the Quality News Network (QNN). Until its untimely demise two years later,
Quality News Network (QNN)QNN delivered the finest hourly newscasts in the country streaming live on-line and via satellite to radio stations across the country.

Tony also wrote, produced, directed, and reported two award-winning public television documentaries that highlighted his interviewing skills. Divorce -- Collaborative Style explained how untying the marital knot can be done with less pain and cost, and Mother Nurture reported on important changes in child-rearing as seen through two generations of California families.

 

In the 2006 edition, there were scores of questions that reporters might pitch at politicians. While most of the questions persist today, they were pulled from the Revised 2011 Edition. Here they are if you are interested:

-- Were we lied to about the reasons to invade Iraq? How do we get out and when? Or why should we stay, and for how long?
Immigration is also a front-burner question, what with an estimated 12 million illegal aliens in the United States. So,
-- What should be our immigration policy? Should illegal immigrants be given the opportunity to earn citizenship? What should be the criteria? Will a fence or wall really work? Do you think English should be our national language?
The broader foreign policy questions, that will continue past the 2006 balloting are these:
-- What can we do to stop global terrorism?
-- What do we do to restore our image of integrity and leadership in the world community?
-- Should the U.S. be the world's policeman, or should we support an international body in that work?
-- Should the United Nations be supported or disbanded and replaced?
-- Should we continue participation in NATO, SEATO and similar mutual defense organizations?
-- The U.S. is the world's leading arms merchant. Those weapons often wind up starting wars and being used to oppress people. Should we stop selling arms abroad? U.S. military personnel are stationed in dozens of foreign countries at a cost of more than $150 billion a year. Does that serve our national interests? Would our needs not be better met if U.S. troops were used to take back areas in our own country controlled by criminal elements?
-- Should we stop testing, freeze production, and begin reciprocal dismantling of all nuclear weapons? Should we cancel Star Wars, B-1, B-2 and all other new weapons programs? Should we end production of and detoxify all chemical and biological weapons?
-- How do we secure our borders?
-- What should be our role in the Western Hemisphere?
-- Should we end the travel/trade embargo against Cuba?
-- Should we support free trade?
-- What should be done about the out-sourcing of American jobs to foreign countries?
-- Are we better off demonstrating effective democracy at home rather than using our military to force democracy on other countries?
--What should our policy be toward Israel?
-- What should we do about Myanmar?
-- What can be done to stop the holocaust in the Sudan?
-- What are other threats to the world today?
On matters of domestic policy, one of the core issues is the liberal-conservative dialectic about the size and role of government.
-- Do we have too much government? How can government be made more efficient?
-- Should the tax system be reformed? If so, how? Should we continue the estate tax? Should we tax spending instead of income? Should there be a minimum tax on incomes over $100,000? Should there be a limit on the amount of home-mortgage interest a person may deduct? Should health insurance premiums be tax deductible? Should people be limited in the number of exemptions they can take for children? Should all deductions and exemptions be eliminated?
-- How can we take the special interest money out of the political process? Would public financing of elections work? Should federally licensed broadcasters be required to provide air time for political candidates shortly before elections? Should citizens be able to vote by remote, electronically, without casting a ballot weeks before election day? Would you favor a (single) national primary? A national consolidation of election days?
-- Should the Social Security system be maintained or folded into the general tax and welfare structure?
-- Should the taxpayers guarantee private pensions? Should federal employees have separate health and pension plans?
-- What is wealthy? How much should a family of four have to earn before the national tax system takes a bigger bite?
-- Should the federal government be required to operate within a balanced budget?
-- What percentages of the budget should be spent on health care, education, the military?
-- Should the government provide tax incentives to gentrify impoverished neighborhoods? What to do about support agricultural, mining and grazing subsidies?
-- Should the government provide public assistance in product -- housing, food, clothing, health care, training -- instead of money or food stamps? Should states and local governments be responsible for distributing public assistance?
-- Do you favor legalizing the cultivation of industrial hemp?
Health care is a critical issue for most of the country, with 45 million uninsured, four generations of families living, obesity rampant, the Medicare drug plan a confusing, expensive mess. It is one of the primary concerns that candidates have to confront. So, bottom line, if you will, should we join the rest of the developed world and institute a single-payer universal health care system?
-- Everyone is pro-life, no one is pro-abortion, but most Americans favor a woman's right to choose, as stated in Roe v. Wade. How might we eliminate the number of unwanted pregnancies.
-- Should smoking be banned in all public (indoor) places? Should the government support or allow the growing, production and/or export of tobacco products?
-- Should American pharmaceutical companies be required to provide drugs to Americans at their lowest available price?
-- Should people be allowed to take drugs and alternative health care treatments that haven't been approved by the FDA without having to leave the country?
-- Should terminally ill people be allowed to die with dignity when they want?
-- Should all public schools be required to provide education in nutrition, exercise and hygiene?
-- What should be done about the obesity epidemic? Would you favor a six-month test moratorium on all advertising for fast food restaurants?
-- What can be done about excessive drinking? Would you favor a six-month test moratorium on all beer advertising?
-- Should the government shift from medical intervention to prevention?
-- Do Americans, especially children, spend too much time in front of the television?
There are few politicians, if any, who don't promise to improve education but little gets done. America used to have the finest public education in the world. Our students now rank well behind most developed countries, especially in science and math. What should be done about public education?
-- Should we extend the school year from 180 to 220 days?
-- Should we require better training of and performance from our teachers? Should teachers be tenured?
-- Should we shift from bilingual training to providing English language instruction?
-- Should we require a curriculum that makes American children aware of their country's origins and principles and leads them to becoming more participatory in the election process?
-- Should we expand opportunities for vocational training?
-- What role should schools play in societalization? Should we rely on schools to mitigate the failure of parents? Does society have a right to be protected from failed parenting?
Justice is not a paramount issue in the 2006 elections but it will no doubt resurface in further campaigns. We have more people behind bars than almost every nation on Earth, at enormous expense to taxpayers.
-- Should we incarcerate violent offenders and put non-violent felons into work-release programs? Should we reduce or eliminate the penalties for "victimless" crimes like gambling, drugs and prostitution?
-- We have a history of executing innocent people. Should we eliminate the death penalty?
-- Ninety percent of the women and children in our country are afraid to go out into their own neighborhoods at night. What can be done to provide better security?
-- Our courts are gridlocked. Should we do what many countries have done and require losing litigants to pay court costs?
-- How do we reduce domestic violence?
-- Should people be allowed to own firearms? Should there be a limit on the number and kind of firearms an individual might possess? What kind and what number? Should guns have to be licensed and insured?
With growing fears of the effects of global warming, the environment is a vital issue that draws considerable concern but few answers.
-- It is unsafe to eat fish from the lakes, rivers and streams in 46 of our states. What should be done to clean up our waterways?
-- Should we pay for a major federal effort to clean up all toxic-waste sites?
-- Should utilities be required to reduce and eliminate emissions that cause acid rain?
-- Should private snowmobiles be allowed on public lands? Should jet-skis and similar polluting sports equipment be allowed in public waterways?
-- Should we launch a crash program to develop alternatives to fossil fuels?
-- Should we encourage -- or even allow -- nuclear plants to operate when we don't yet know how to detoxify nuclear waste?
-- How do we reduce the number of cars on the road, especially in urban areas, especially during rush hours?
-- How can we reduce noise pollution?
-- The population continues to rise, adding increased strain on the public resources. A third of American births are paid for by Medicare. Should we actively discourage new births, especially among those who can't afford to have children?
Those are only some of the questions that might be asked in and around the principal issues. Here are a handful of others that, being less obvious, might force a candidate to think on her feet.
-- Do you favor a national identification card?
-- Should we reduce the work week to thirty hours?
-- Should we require welfare recipients to work for the community?
-- Should the post office end deliveries on Saturdays and Wednesday to reduce overhead and pollution?
-- Should private companies be allowed to control genetically modified seeds?
-- Should homosexuals be allowed to marry? Should government get out of licensing marriage?
You will rarely get to ask these questions of a candidate, unless he is nailed to the floor. But they certainly could provoke some interesting responses. Some are sort of specious; others are serious.
-- How often do you check your email? What is your favorite search engine? Where do you get your news? How many calls do you make/take on your cell phone each day? How much television do you watch? What are your favorite programs?
-- Do you read newspapers and magazines? Which ones? How often? What are your favorite books? Authors? Should reading be encouraged?
-- How much time do you spend alone? How do you stay healthy in both body and spirit? When do you get angry?
-- Why did you decide to run for office? What is your vision of America in five years? What do you hope to accomplish? How much do you intend to spend on your campaign? What role do consultants play in your campaign?
-- Who are your heroes and why?
-- What kind of people do you get along with best?

     For more information...
     Contact Tony Seton at  831-747-1918 or 
email

 

Copyright 2006-2011