Are female interviewers different?

7 August 2015

Rachel Smalley makes a great point about the domination of male hosts in prime time radio.

She argues that some issues are dealt with differently by women and their approach is needed to balance up the male perspective. She uses Battered Women’s Syndrome and the Gender Pay Gap as two such examples. She has a good point.

Smalley made the comment when expressing her disappointment that John Campbell would replace Mary Wilson as host of the Drive Time show on Radio New Zealand. This leaves Susie Ferguson, the co-host on Morning Report, as the only women in a prime time slot.

This raises an important point for spokespeople preparing for a media interview. All interviewers have a different approach. On some issues women will have a different perspective, as Smalley suggests. On others, young interviewers may focus in an entirely different area of a topic than their older counterparts. The same goes for many other groups.

This is why it’s always important is to do some research on your interviewer. Have a look at some of their recent stories. This will give you a good idea of their style and where they are coming from. Are they aggressive? Are they passionate about the topic you will be discussing? How knowledgeable are they on the issue?

This research will help you know what to expect. As Smalley highlights, interviewers all come from different angles. Their life experiences can influence their approach. Sometimes their political views can influence their tone (although they will never admit it). With the Internet now, you only have to plug their name into google to find their recent stories. It’s well worth the time.

For more on my media training, contact or 029 200 8555.

Filed under Media Training

Written by

Pete is a leading New Zealand media trainer and regular blogger for his company, Media Training NZ . He has helped leaders from all sectors of society communicate with the media and other stakeholders. Pete is a former daily newspaper reporter and press secretary in the New Zealand government. From these roles, he understands the media process from both sides of the camera.

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