Posted by Julius Forhecz
on Sep 6, 2012 in Thoughts on Radio
| Comments Off on Amy Goodman and Pussy Riot
For my listening exercise, I tuned into an Aug. 20 interview with Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman. Goodman was covering the sentencing of the controversial punk band Pussy Riot. Over the phone, she interviewed a member of the band’s defense team and the spouse of one of the convicted members. The interview featured several clips, which hindered its flow, but what I like about Amy Goodman is her ability to ask very open-ended questions. Her questions are often short and loaded with just enough information that the listener knows what’s going on. The other thing I like about Goodman is her voice. It’s quiet and unassuming, but strong enough to get the point across. I think it helps put the interviewees at ease. It’s also well practiced. Her cadence is well paced, she doesn’t interrupt her guests and she does a good job of working around tricky words. Goodman rarely uses who, what, when, where, why and how. Instead, she often will state a fact and then ask the interviewee to “talk about it.” Sometimes she is probing for some specific answer, but there is also plenty of room for people to answer in unexpected ways. Once such example is when she asks the attorney’s assistant about the significance of Putin saying he hopes the girls aren’t treated harshly. Very quickly, the legal team member responds by saying it doesn’t mean much and giving the women two years instead of seven was the judge’s idea of leniency. Goodman established a solid arc in this interview. She played a clip of what the band’s name means and asked the husband elaborated on the art collective’s mission. She wrapped up the interview by asking about the band’s future, which the attorney’s assistant answered by saying to they’re going to a labor camp whose many residents are religious. This final question gives the end of the interview an ominous tone....