Teaching With ‘The Daily’

Teaching With ‘The Daily’

2. What do you think is the purpose of this podcast? Who might be its audience?

3. What do you notice about Mr. Barbaro’s interviews? How does he both guide conversations and allow his subjects to share their thoughts freely? What makes his style effective or appealing?

4. What types of questions does Mr. Barbaro ask? Which questions did you find most effective? What kind of preparation do you imagine Mr. Barbaro does for each interviewee and episode?

5. How does “The Daily” use sound to tell a story? How do the audio elements enhance the experience for listeners? What is the difference between listening to and reading a news story on the same subject? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each?

6. What other “moves” did the podcast host or producers make that you admired? What skills or techniques might you want to use in your own interviews?

Option 1: Conduct your own interview

Now, it’s your turn: Using “The Daily” as a mentor text, conduct an interview with someone whose views, experiences or life you would like to know more about. You can conduct your interview in person, on the phone or via video chat, but it should be at least 10 minutes long.

1. First, learn more about your subject and interviewee — do some preparation and research.

2. Write a set of at least 10 questions and order them. Remember, your interview questions don’t need to be long or complicated. Mr. Barbaro often asks simple, direct and open-ended questions, such as:

3. Conduct your interview using the techniques you learned from analyzing Mr. Barbaro’s interviews, such as active listening and asking follow-up questions. Keep in mind that while Mr. Barbaro is always well prepared for each interview, he is a great listener. Try not to mechanically go through your written set of questions, one after the other, regardless of the answer given by your subject; listen and ask follow-up questions.

To help, you might use these follow-up question starter phrases drawn from “The Daily”:

  • “So, tell me more about _________?”

  • “Mmm … so, you’re saying _________?

  • “What does that mean?” “What did it mean in the moment?”

  • “OK. So when you hear people say _________?”

  • “And how do we explain that?”

  • “And why does that matter?”

4. If possible, record your interview so that you can preserve the conversation and critique and evaluate your performance.