Blog #7: Interviewing

I chose Buzzfeed News’ interview with President Barack Obama for this assignment. This interview is newsworthy for obvious reasons. Obama was interviewed in February 2015 which makes this story dated but it was the only relevant story I could use for this assignment.

The interviewer, Ben Smith, starts off by bringing up Obama’s announcement of his campaign in 2007 in Springfield, Ill. The interviewer was specific down to the date (which happened to be the day of this interview) and the “generational call,” Obama mentioned in his speech 13 times. Smith ties his speech to the fact that two of the leading candidates, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush (at the time of the interview), were of the previous generation.

Smith also mentions that Obama was elected with a coalition of young people and minorities and wondered if the next Democratic nominee would inherit the same coalition. Even though the interview happened before Donald Trump announced his bid for the presidency (June 2015), Obama focused his answer on the many social issues facing the country in 2008, when he was elected, that would continue into the next presidency.

Other questions Smith asked Obama regarded the Affordable Care Act, Russian relations, and questions asked by Buzzfeed patrons. Each question was detailed and was concise with a purpose. A few questions did try to elicit Obama to answer in a specific manner, but he remained as diplomatic as ever.

Smith seemed to have done extensive research before the interview since almost every question had a specific event or incident mentioned. Smith seems like a very informed interviewer. Another commendable thing worth mentioning is that Smith kept the interview fast paced and moving yet evoked detailed answers from Obama.

Link to article

 

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