News Interview Programs
Christopher H. Sterling
American news interview programs are generally of two types—the continuing series and the special one-off program built around an important person or a particular event. Essential to the success of either type is an effective interviewer and an interesting interviewee. While many interview programs center on celebrities and entertainment, the focus here is on those providing serious news journalism. Few commercial stations provide such programs and thus this entry concerns broadcast and cable network offerings. The broadcast public affairs interview format developed first in radio—indeed it probably dates to the 1920s before networking began. There was nothing simpler than having an announcer (only later was the interlocutor more often a journalist) interview somebody of importance either because of their social or political position or to cast light on recent news events or a current controversy. Many of radio's public affairs programs did not focus on interviews, but rather encouraged give-and-take ...