The art of interviewing II: Peter Allen and the use of 'hmmmm'


Here's Peter Allen, BBC Radio Five Live's peerless veteran broadcaster, chatting to Eddie Mair about his use of the interjection 'Hmmmmm' to undermine interview subjects giving unconvincing answers.

The clip is below. The full interview is here on the PM web site (at about 54 mins), but only for a few more days.

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Research Seminar


Don't forget that we have Julia Sandbrand, one of our PhD students, talking at the research seminar this Wednesday at 1pm. Julia is coming over from Belgium for the talk and I'd like to make a special invitation to all students to come along and hear what Julia has to say about journalistic reportage on climate change in the UK, the US, Germany and India. See you then!

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The art of interviewing


I have to admit I was a little worried this morning when my car started to emit a shrill and urgent noise as it approached Chatham.

It turned out to be the radio, struggling to reach the whistle-tone frequency of Mishal Hussain's interview with deputy PM Nick Clegg on Radio 4's Today  (available on iPlayer, if you missed it).

Her determination to ensure Mr Clegg would not get a word in made me think about the interviewing advice Ron and I gave to our new recruits last week.

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Shorthand Champions League: Free wallchart!


The mouth-watering fixture list for our inaugural Shorthand Champions League has been confirmed.

And you will be able to keep track of it with our FREE CfJSCL wallchart (be honest, it wouldn't be a real sporting event without one).

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Trainee Reporter - Archant South West


Hello everyone at the CFJ, from sunny Devon.

A position has come available at Archant South West that I thought any graduates might be interested in applying for.

I can vouch that is a great place to work and I have only been here two months. The patch is lively (and picturesque) and I have been fortunate to have a very social group of colleagues. 

The full description can be found at the link below. There are a couple of conditions, you will need your own car as the office is not easy to get to any other way but you have expenses for any miles you do! 

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'Gold'gate and the CfJ website background colour imbroglio


When I redesigned this site over the summer, I confess I didn't give an immense amount of thought to the background colour pattern that sits behind its pages - other than to make it vaguely complementary to the CfJ blue (according to the colour wheel).

Since then, there has been a degree of comment from users about my selection. Some objected to the colour ("too yellow", they cried. I like to think of it as gold.) Others objected to the diagonal pinstripe in it - which admittedly doesn't render brilliantly in all browsers.

So in the spirit of open source collaboration, I'm opening up the selection of a background to all members of the CfJ community.

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Sign Press Gazette's petition to protect confidential sources


I shudder to think that the first piece I wrote for Press Gazette about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) and its potential threat to journalism was last century. Back then there was widespread concern that the new act, which was designed with prevention of terrorist activity in mind, could be used by a variety of public bodies to collect information about reporters' communications with their sources.

That threat has never gone away - despite reassurances from government, police forces and other public authorities throughout the intervening decade and a half. Now my old magazine is so concerned about the creeping use of RIPA that it has started an online campaign.

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Shorthand Champions League: The draw


With fitting pomp and ceremony, the draw for the first round of the Shorthand Champions League took place today in the Centre's TV studio.

The competition will get under way for second and third years next week, with fixtures being played during Wednesday shorthand classes.

The draw - conducted by Ian Reeves and Rob Bailey, and overseen by Laura Garcia - threw up some tantalising clashes.

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New to the news!


Having now survived Fresher's week and completed my first official day as a student at the Centre for Journalism, I must say I'm buzzing to work my way through this course. 

The prospect of experiencing the acamedic modules and practical tasks was exciting enough, but several other opportunities have presented themselves to me, making my first week a bit of a whirlwind.

A lot of you have probably heard about the teenager Ibrahim Kamara, who was killed in Syria last week, after travelling to the country to, may I just point out, fight AGAINST Isis.

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Introducing the CfJ Shorthand Champions League


You all already know how seriously we take shorthand here at the Centre for Journalism. It matters to us because it matters to the people who hire journalists - and they tell us so regularly.

So this year, we'll be introducing a variety of sticks and carrots to encourage more of our excellent students to get themselves across the Gold Standard 100wpm threshold.

The first of these is the CfJ Shorthand Champions League, a competition we confidently expect to become as famous as its UEFA football equivalent.

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