Emma Barnett answers YOUR questions!


Emma Barnett presents her own daily morning radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live and Newsnight on BBC Two. She interviews the key figures shaping our time from Theresa May in Downing Street to Hillary Clinton to the Archbishop of Canterbury. She is also an author of It's About Bloody Time. Period. a taboo-busting book featuring untold stories about women and menstruation.

What are the main things you interview politicians about?
precious_heart, Michael Faraday School

Thanks Precious Heart for your question. I ask them questions about their job and promises they have made. I try to understand how their work will affect real people’s lives of all ages. And when I don’t understand their answer – I ask them, sometimes repeatedly, to make it clearer!

Do you think children can change how politicians think and act?
adaptable_beetle, Boutcher Primary School

Yes I do. But only if children learn about politics and find a way to have their voice heard. Greta Thunberg could be the rule and not the exception.

I am a journalist for our school's newspaper - what advice would you give me for interviewing?
easygoing_weaver, Brompton Westbrook Primary School

When you learn who you are going to interview – write down the first few questions that come to mind. They are often the freshest and are helpful at illustrating what you really want to find out. Don’t be afraid to follow up with a question. And please, please, please listen to the answers.

Some journalists and interviewers become friendly with politicians. Do you think this is a good step to take or should you always keep a certain amount of distance from the people that you plan to interview?
easygoing_hen, Noel Park Primary School

I always keep a healthy distance. In line of work, as a presenter, rather than a reporter, it is the cleanest and best way.

Have you ever felt like you had a question to ask to somebody but you were afraid they might have found it offensive?
cheerful_photograph, The Sherwood School

A great journalistic question in and of itself! Bravo. I try not to make my questions overly personal but sometimes they can be by their nature. And yes, I have worried before and after. But I always ask it. We are our audience’s champion and if we are nervous – it usually means it’s important and they would want it asked. Whether our guest answers is a whole other ball game.

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