Ghanaian journalist invents a device to ease video interviews


During video interviews, many interviewees get their thoughts mixed up along the line.

Journalists are therefore forced to type points on a laptop or on a piece of paper and show it to the interviewee as prompt.

This wastes time as it extends the duration of the interview.

It is also difficult for solo journalists whose attention is often divided between manning the camera to prevent technical hitches and helping the interviewee.

A journalist with the Multimedia Group, Luv FM’s Emmanuel Kwasi Debrah, has designed a portable device known as ‘Paper Prompter’ which is meant to overcome these challenges.

“Sometimes, it becomes disheartening seeing subjects struggle to ace a simple interview. So I decided to come up with something like this to solve these issues.”

“I designed a prototype and contacted Obeng Okofo Dartey of the KNUST College of Engineering Innovation Centre, who helped me to design this version,” he said.

The device is made up of a hollow shaft fitted with a cylindrical bar with holes aligning the edge of the bar.

The holes are points of attachment to the clip. The sheet of paper is therefore held to the bar by the clips.

It is fitted with a bolt to regulate the length of the cylindrical bar depending on camera or paper size.

The tool has a hot shoe adapter to mount on the camera and cold shoe adapter at the top to accommodate light or microphone.

As the reporter focuses on his camera, the interviewee looks at the sheet of paper which has the write-ups to help interviewees sail through the interview smoothly.

Again, questions can be written on the paper for interviewees to answer without the interviewer interrupting.

Reporters can also write down points on the paper for piece-to-camera stories, and would not have to carry along expensive electronic gadgets like a teleprompter.

“I’ve done several tests and still doing some to see how effective the device can be,” he said.


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