“Your humble correspondent” is what he calls himself with a smile. Bill O’Reilly, host of the “O’Reilly Factor,” is not doubt one of the most loved, hated, criticized, praised, and controversial television commentators of all time. For ten years, O’Reilly has hosted the number one rated show of all cable news. With his unique style, people seem to be drawn to him whether they agree with him or not. Background
Bill O’Reilly has quite an impressive background. Born in Manhattan and raised in Long Island, O’Reilly found himself studying history at Marist College and earning his bachelor’s degree. He went on to Boston University to receive his master’s in broadcast journalism. He did not stop there as he got another master’s degree in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government ("Bill O'Reilly Biography”). His broadcasting career began in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He then moved around reporting and anchoring in Dallas, Boston, and New York. His national exposure started with CBS and ABC News. In 1996 he landed at FOX News ("Bill O'Reilly Biography") . Other than hosting the number one cable news program, Bill still finds time to write a weekly column that appears in more than 300 newspapers. O’Reilly is also a respected author. He has written books about his political opinions and has also begun to write history books about the assassinations of President Lincoln and President Kennedy. He is currently working on a book entitled “Killing Jesus.” O’Reilly has stacked up many journalism awards including three Emmy’s and earning the 2008 Governor’s Award in Boston ("Bill O'Reilly Biography") . A large debate within the journalism field is whether or not Bill O’Reilly is really a true journalist. A poll conducted by the Annenberg Public Center found that four out of ten people considered Bill O’Reilly a journalist. Only one percent of journalists thought that O’Reilly was “very close” to their idea of what a journalist is considered to be. Ten percent said that he was “not close at all” (Conway, Grabe, and Grieves 197). Many people find these results disturbing because it shows that there is not true definition to what a journalist is or what his or her duties should include. Thesis
Regardless of whether or not Bill O’Reilly should be or is considered a journalist does not change the fact that the way he interviews his guests on “The O’Reilly Factor” is something that is unique and should be talked about. He is undoubtedly an important and popular voice in the American political discussion and has made a huge impact on cable news. His tough, straight to the point style causes a lot of confrontation with the guests he interviews. This way of interviewing seems to draw an audience and is becoming more of an entertainment type of interview than an informational one. The American cable news has presented more shows of this style because of the popularity of “The O’Reilly Factor.” This paper will present the different techniques that Bill O’Reilly uses during his interviews and why these techniques has made him one of the most talked about commentators of all time.
The Importance of Interviewing
Interviewing is the main way in which reporters and journalists obtain and gather their information. It is the most important activity of any modern journalist. According to Wynford Hicks, author of “Interviewing for Journalists, “Reporting is incomplete without the interview: readers want to know how bystanders, eye-witnesses, participants reacted to what happened, what they thought and felt about it” (1). Interviews can add credibility when speaking with an expert. They can also take a story beyond the view of a reporter when speaking with an eyewitness of an accident. Often times, interviews themselves create news. The result of the interview becomes the story (Adams and Hicks 2) In