Raj Weighing Heavy on Raj – Question is Which One?

Raj Thackeray Interviewed by Rajdeep Sardesai

Prescript: This is a college assignment in which we were asked to pick one interview from the internet that does not involve a Bollywood celebrity, and analyse the interview based on SWOT analysis.

Hailing from Mumbai, and paying heed to my new found interest in MNS, I decided to pick Raj Thackeray’s interview taken by Rajdeep Sardesai from CNN – News 18.
This interview was posted on Youtube on 18th April 2014. Editor-in-chief of IBN 18 Rajdeep Sardesai interviewed MNS’s chief Raj Thackeray, where he was asked questions like – Whether he (Raj Thackeray) backs Narendra Modi. Will his stand on anti-North Indians ever die down?

This interview is 40 minutes and 14 seconds long and was hosted around the time of 2014’s Lok Sabha Election under the title – Election Special interview.

Strength – The host openly admitted in the beginning of the interview that their guests are the newsmakers. In this interview, Raj Thackeray was the ‘newsmaker.’

A banner with the word ‘Exclusive’ was flashed throughout the interview. This was a great way of reminding the audience time and again that this was an exclusive interview with Raj Thackeray.

Every controversial statement made by the man of the hour was instantly turned into banners and flashed on the screen throughout the interview. This was a smart way of building intrigue in the audience especially the ones who tuned in late.
Rajdeep did not get intimidated by Raj Thackeray on several occasions. This showed his experience and skills at handling a powerful personality live on camera.

Rajdeep was smart enough to not take offence when Raj Thackeray lost his calm a couple of times.

Weakness – Rajdeep on more than a couple of occasions failed to maintain his decorum while addressing Raj Thackeray.

It appeared that Rajdeep tried too hard to get out controversial statements to build up show’s TRPs.

The questions asked in a 40 minutes show were quite limited. Re-phrasing the same questions triggered anger in Raj Thackeray who threatened to leave the interview incomplete.

Raj Thackeray was cut in the middle of his answers on several occasions which he clearly didn’t appreciate.

Opportunity – Rajdeep’s presence of mind helped him to take on every statement by Raj Thackeray and counter question him until he got satisfactory answers.

Rajdeep’s beating around the bush helped him get Raj Thackeray to admit that he was open to have a conversation with Shiv Sena and end the interview on a high note.

Although the interview was focused on topics related to Lok Sabha elections, Rajdeep found a way to slip in other questions that weren’t Lok Sabha specific. This got Raj Thackeray to say he would do two more interviews to discuss other topics when the time was right.

Threats – Pushing a politician too much to get them to admit or speak about things they don’t wish to could be threatening as the channel could lose any future exclusives with them.

Pointing fingers and high pitched tone while questioning can make a negative impression.

The mid frame that showed clippings of Modi and Udhav Thackeray was distracting and moved the focus from the interview.

This was my analysis of the above interview. Do leave your suggestions, feedback and your version of SWOT analysis in the comments below to help me better my analysis in the future.