1% Better S3,

Deirdre O’ Shaughnessy, The Art of the Interview, Journalistic Empathy, & Success Defined – EP118

July 10, 2019

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Deirdre O’Shaughnessy is an award winning editor and co-presenter of Cork’s leading daily talk show, the 96fm Opinion Line.

She appears regularly on RTE Today and has featured as a regular guest on Newstalk Breakfast, Tonight with Vincent Browne and RTE Morning Edition.

She has hosted corporate events for IBEC, Ulster Bank, the Insurance Institute of Ireland, Network Ireland and the Tax Institute of Ireland, and in the charity and community sector has worked with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, the Simon Communities of Ireland and the Mercy Hospital Foundation

I was looking forward to sitting down with Deirdre and dig into how she prepares for interviews, understand how she deals with nerves, what her core values are and how she stays motivated. She didn’t disappoint in this hour-long conversation.

For a full brief summary of the topics covered, see below. I’ve also included book recommendations and links to Deirdre on Social as well as her website.

Enjoy this one & please do help me get it out to a wider audience.

Episode Summary:

  • Preparing for an interview with Mary Robinson
  • The importance of good questions
  • Dealing with pressure in preparing for interviewing with Mary Robinson
  • The process in preparing for interviews – not overly prescribing the questions
  • Finding the thread and pulling at this
  • Allowing for the audience to interact with an interview
  • Refreshing to see interviews and talk shows that are unplanned
  • Ordinary people sharing stories – this is the key focus
  • Pulling the thread on the radio show with real questions
  • The importance of emotion in an interview
  • Tommy Tiernan’s ability to listen and showing up the traditional show format
  • Dealing with emotions and nerves when interviewing people
  • Learning from others in the interviewer world and taking something from each of them
  • The joy of putting down the phone when working for private radio
  • The approach to forming a great question?
  • Taking advice from her Uncle to study in other areas before going into journalism
  • Thinking on your feet all the time and being in the moment in the Opinion Line on 96FM
  • The Family of Swans – a perfect example of going from mundane to absurd – the human connection
  • Choosing Law based on a Celtic Tiger decision
  • Having a passion for writing which then lead naturally into journalism
  • Getting work experience in the Irish Times in 5th year and working at the Flood tribunal
  • Great responsibility, experiencein management and deadlines as the full time editor of the Student Union Newspaper in UL
  • Getting a job with Galway Independent after blagging her way in the interview and working on courts – progressing to be the deputy editor
  • Taking a chance & going for it!
  • Being luck and working during the recession
  • Freedom & Varietyemerging as core values for Deirdre
  • Lucky with the timing of the social media explosion and being at the forefront of social media in the newspaper
  • Through Twitter connections, getting opportunities to work with Vincent Brown, Clare Byrne and others!!
  • The media are always looking for something different – just being willing to push yourself through
  • In Media, be willing to just say YES!
  • Factors that make you successful
  • Empathy as a key trait in media – the best tabloid journalists having huge empathy!
  • Developing a thick skin and learning from experience.
  • If she had her time over, some stories Deirdre wouldn’t do again!
  • Establishing the line and reflecting back on what was learned!
  • Media being unstructured compared the structure in Corporate
  • Being comfortable working in the moment, being flexible and not feeling too bad if you do cancel on others!
  • Doing the role Deirdre is meant to be doing!
  • Side projects that allow for greater fulfilment
  • Awarded the Simon cumber media award
  • Broadening perspectives with projects abroad for charity – Rwanda and Cambodia
  • Enjoying travelling even more when working!
  • Ordinary People having the most extraordinary lives
  • Goal Setting, Measurements and Success!
  • The importance of reflection
  • Job offers in the media world!
  • Success = financially secure, side projects, variety and having a great work life balance
  • Self-depreciation is key
  • Having great faith in the bigger picture
  • Don’t over index on the bad days
  • Dead Dinner party guests that Deirdre would bring to dinner?

Book Recommendation:

How to get in touch?

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