Monday, February 11, 2013

Ways To Record An Interview

In the spirit of the National Press Day that takes place every Feb. 9, I'd like to post on the gadgets that most journalists use in the line of their work and how it changes during the course of time.

When I entered journalism nine years ago, M&D bought me a tape recorder. They gave that recorder because I had yet to have any money to buy it. They didn't like seeing me working in journalism (they still don't) and we don't always agree on everything, but they have tried to be supportive and I couldn't thank them enough for that.

I found them when I cleaned up my room the other day. I wonder if anyone still use these recorders
I used the tape to interview many people, who later become the state's prominent figure. I brought the recorder to interview then Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Marty Natalegawa (who is now our Foreign Minister), then Foreign Ministry's Director of North and Middle America Asia Dino Patti Djalal (now Indonesian Ambassador for the U.S.) and then a businesswoman in Shanghai Mari Elka Pangestu (now Tourism and Creative Economics Minister).

I used the recorder for about three years before it gave up on me. Then I got myself a smaller tape recorder, which only lasted for about one year. The audio recording machines have become smaller, lighter and digital since then.

I now have a digital recorder, but I still stick to my pen and notes. I remembered an advice a colleague gave me that no matter how sophisticated the recorder we had, we should always jot down the points during the interview.

"Writing down the points not only keeps parts of the interview in the notebooks, but also helps the brain memorize it longer. Gadgets can break down, notes can disappear, but your brain will stay with you," he said.

With journo friends in Ende, Flores. Taken by my friend Dheni.

Of course, a recorder will help my brain a lot if I interview an expat who speaks with an accent:).


  1. Suka dengan pekerjaannya Tifa, tapi 'tak cukup' untuk membuatku mampu melakukan pekerjaan itu, heeee....
    Tapi aku tetep suka nulis, walau nulis yang (menurut banyak orang) useless.... heeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (?)

  2. Menulis aja, jangan jadi jurnalis (lho? hehe). Menulislah selama menulis belum dilarang. Menulislah apa saja dan kapan saja. Menurut gue, gak ada yang gak berguna di dunia ini, termasuk tulisan (yang menurut banyak orang) ringan itu :). Semangka, Ai!