Activity 7.3 - Prepare for interviews

2 - Anticipating questions

  1. Consider each question below in the context of your own research. You may have considered some of these previously but they are worth reiterating. Having thought about these in advance anticipates some of the directions an interview with a journalist can take. 



Does your field have any areas that are typically critiqued? Are there any areas that are a source of controversy?

Remember that journalists are likely to frame questions using the link between water and conflict is or in terms of "water war"... Acknowledging and bridging (see activity 4) back to your main points will help you remain in control.


What are the limitations of your research?  

Be clear, confident, and honest about what your work shows, and doesn’t show.


Thinking back to previous modules, what is is the main message you want to communicate and its supporting points?

They’ll be easy to remember and you can always ‘bridge’ back to them with a connecting phrase such as “the really important point is ...” or “we need to remember that this ...”. We will look at ‘bridging’ later in this section.


What is some of the essential background information people should know about your field?

Background information is always useful as a way of checking how much a reporter knows about your field


Are there any common misconceptions in this field?

Anticipating these can help avoid misunderstandings further down the line.


What are the next steps in your research?

Perhaps it has to do with the limitations you are already aware of.


What is novel about your latest findings?

Can you explain why your research findings matter?


What is the consensus regarding what you are researching?

This might help when talking about uncertainty. You can put things into perspective by saying “this was a small study” or “the next step in finding out the answer is ...” or “although some scientists think this, at the moment the consensus is ...”.


If there is one thing you think anyone should know about your research, what is it?

This ‘big idea’ can be useful as something to reiterate if necessary.

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