Emmy Award-Winning Journalist explains the Art of the Interview

Jane Hanson

One of the most important skills to master as a young journalist is the art of the interview, and students in Prof. Sissel McCarthy’s MEDPL 388 Studio News Production class were eager to hone their skills with tips from award-winning broadcast journalist Jane Hanson in early May.  

Hanson has interviewed thousands of people, including presidents, celebrities, authors, sports figures, and regular people during her 27-year career as an anchor and correspondent for NBC News and its New York affiliate, WNBC.

Hanson’s first tip: Listen. “There is nothing more crucial,” said Hanson, who won nine Emmy Awards for her work at NBC and is now running her own communications consultancy business. 

She also advised students to be well prepared. This means doing your own research and thinking about how to make your interview different. “My goal is always to bring something new to the table,” Hanson said. She is in favor of pre-interviews but does not give out exact questions ahead of time. “That ruins the spontaneity.”