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Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri.

As a general rule, an interviewer, print or electronic, is entitled to ask hard questions and demand pointed answers from his guest.

An interviewer is notionally incharge but must not bully or intimidate the guest.

It is professional to show utmost respect to the guest and, at all times, the audience.

There is a world of difference between asking hard questions with a view to eliciting uncomfortable answers and dropping unsubstantiated calcified opinion on an interviewee and expecting him to cave in on the weight of that personal opinion.

Any interviewer should not be timid and never condescending. The interviewer must never underrate the guest lest, the interview becomes an ego trip or shouting match. 

These kinds of unwarranted scenarios may lead to loss of control with the risk that the interviewer's bloated ego may be deflated in his face.

An interviewee is a guest, who is not bound to answer questions in a measured or expected way as individual opinions and understandings are allowed to differ in a democracy.

An interview session is for rubbing minds, not necessarily an examination with fixed answers and conclusions!

An intervewer is a privileged moderator but not a Supreme Court Justice whose opinion on legal disputes is final though not infallible. 

Hence, an interviewer must not confer the status of a Leviathan on himself or herself lest a knowledgeable interviewee will be compelled, in good conscience, to drag him or her down from a supposed Olympian height to a mundane nadir.

All opinions are right in an interview but that may not be true in an examination.

A friendly, respectful sure footed interviewer or programme anchor  serves the society better than a disrespectful, haughty, self opinionated and intemperate anchor. The latter is a bad ambassador to the respected fourth estate of the realm. 

Abuse is no logic.

The interview is about the subject matter and fact in issue and never about the person or personality of the interviewer and or guest. 

A new normal is possible!

Prof. Obiaraeri, N.O.

Former Honourable Commissioner for information, Imo State.


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