Now in its second edition, Interviewing For Radio by Jim Beaman covers all kinds of radio interviewing and provides tips and advice that will be useful for both new and experienced radio presenters. The book will also appeal to those podcasters who want to improve their podcast interviewing skills.
Interviewing For Radio starts with a short but interesting look at the history of radio interviewing focusing on how the BBC introduced the interview format to encourage discussion and debate. The book then looks at the role and purpose of radio interviews to help tell stories and to promote people, products and organisations, as well as the different ways interviews can be used on the radio.
The author then goes on to look at what kind of interviews work best on radio, the role of the interviewer in getting the best from the interviewee and how you can develop your own interviewing style.
If you are looking for rules or guidelines for radio interviews then Interviewing For Radio certainly has you covered! From union codes of conduct, BBC guidelines and radio authority standards there are detailed lists of all the things you should bear in mind when preparing for, and conducting, interviews for the radio.
While this book was written before the podcasting space expanded to where it is now, many of the guidelines are also relevant to podcasting, a broadcasting space where there is often more flexibility in conducting interviews, due to the lack of regulation, but the same good practices and ethics should apply.
The meat of the book covers the interviewing process itself, providing technical advice along with things to do before, during and after an interview. There is also a detailed analysis of some interviews, with transcripts included as well as checklists on analysing your own interviews in retrospect. I certainly learnt a lot from these and would suggest they are probably the most useful part of the book.
If I had one criticism of this book it is that it assumes a level of knowledge of radio terminology that someone new to radio presenting might not have. I cannot fault the glossary though as it includes good explanations of many of the terms used in the book.
The author, Jim Beaman, has impeccable credentials to write this excellent book on the techniques for interviewing for radio. He is a Senior Lecturer on Journalism and Radio Production courses for the University of Gloucestershire in the UK. He previously worked for BBC Radio, presenting, producing and reporting for them, as well as working as an instructor with BBC Radio Training.
In conclusion, I recommend this book, Interviewing For Radio by Jim Beaman, for any radio presenter or podcaster who wants to build or improve their interviewing skills.
If you are looking for some questions to ask your music guests then take a look at my blog post on interview questions for music artists.