In terms of interview technique, there’s good news and bad news for Labour leader Ed Miliband with regard to this interview.
On the plus side, if Miliband thought he was giving an interview that was destined to end up as a soundbite in a news package, then the interview was a model of its kind. In each answer, he repeats key messages about the public sector strikes being wrong, while at the same time lambasting the government for, in his view, having been reckless. The result of repeating his key messages in this way is that the reporter putting together a news package is left little option but to use a soundbite that contains what Miliband came to say. Every answer throughout the interview sounds the same. So far, so good, Ed.
The problem is that either Miliband or somebody in his media team failed to check out exactly how the reporter who turned up was going to use this interview – or indeed other broadcasters to whom it might have been pooled. Was it going to be recorded just for one answer to be extracted as a soundbite? Or, was the interview going to be run in full? Or was it all left rather vague? Miliband or one of his media advisers obviously believed it was just a soundbite interview. Somebody appears not to have checked out exactly how the interview was to be used. If there’s even the slightest chance that a news station might run an interview in its entirety, then the soundbite technique should not be deployed. The BBC decided to run the whole thing, making Miliband sound like a cracked record.