An Interview, Dutch style

Earlier this week I listened to the radio, to the Dutch news station (so-called) Radio 1. A journalist was interviewing a politician on some issue of truly cosmic importance; I forgot what it was. To me, a good interview involves coaxing the interviewed persons into saying things they would rather hide, and critically testing their arguments. Information and analysis, in short. I am certain that the journalist thought it was a proper interview. It was certainly typical for most interviews on Dutch radio these days. The journalist interrupted the politician’s every sentence before it was half-finished, answered his own silly questions and repeated himself ad nauseam in long rambling sentences, all in a loud, aggressive voice. The voice of a bully. The poor politician – I rarely apply the word ‘poor’ to politicians but here it was appropriate – couldn’t get a word in edgewise. Hooligans express their tender feelings on the soccer pitch with more finesse.
At the end of it we, the listeners, had learned absolutely nothing about the politician’s views or arguments. All we knew was what the journalist had said, which could be summarised as: ‘RRRROARR!! ME TARZAN, ME BIG!’
That was it. The journalist had used language as a sledge hammer. Not even as a battering ram, trying to break into information not otherwise accessible. No, a coarse, heavy sledge hammer only fit to destroy. So much for information and analysis.
Deeply annoyed, I switched to another station, BBC World. Immediately my mood lifted. Soft voices, calm and articulated, interesting facts and thorough analysis, and yes: proper interviews. Two or three brief, soft-spoken questions and a devious politician, slippery like an old eel, had revealed all he would have bitten his tongue to hide. One more question delivered in similar style, and the eel’s arguments bit the dust. No raised voices, no interruptions, only brilliant tactics and deadly skill. Language wielded like like a scalpel.
Does BBC World offer training courses to foreign journalists?