Worth a listen: The Burning Question

The Burning Question
#36, from Nov 21, 2012 of How Sound
(but this is from when it was “Sound School Podcast”)


The conversation between Audie Cornish and Rob Rosenthal explores the dynamics of interviewing, the challenges of asking questions, and the importance of diversity in newsrooms.

This one is particularly fun since it’s nearly 10 years old.

“What I try and do is always have an Ender… something that has a feeling of summation.” - Audie Cornish

“You’ve got to have a beginning, middle and end… you’ve got to put in the context yourself. You’ve got to fact check on the fly.” - Audie Cornish


Open-ended questions like “Tell me about your character” can be vague and confusing for interviewees, lacking clear parameters for discussion.

Softball questions such as “Tell me about your movie” may not provide sufficient depth or context for a meaningful interview.
Studio interviews as a host require the interviewer to carry the contextual information and provide a beginning, middle, and end within a conversation with a single person.

Representing opposing viewpoints and asking tough questions is crucial for comprehensive and balanced interviews, even if they align with rival perspectives.

Asking interviewees if there is anything missed or seeking their recommendations for further discussions helps uncover important points and diverse perspectives.

Newsrooms benefit from diversity in backgrounds and perspectives to create a marketplace of ideas and avoid consensus-driven reporting.

Actively participating in shaping the media landscape by being part of the conversation and challenging consensus is important for creating a more inclusive and meaningful journalism.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)