When to produce interview text? – 1

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian


A challenging question for oral history scholars is when to produce or transcribe the interview recorded content? Is it to be done after the interview process is over or start parallel to the interview course?

Undoubtedly, most responses will indicate that once the interview is complete and the audio text is transcribed and narrator’s consent is obtained over the transcription then editing and production of the written literature begins. In this approach, there are two distinct procedures: interview and production.

In this mechanism, largely favored by history research institutes and publications, the interview responsibility is delegated to an individual expert in interview techniques and well informed in history and the content production is conducted by an expert in literature development.

Pros of this approach herald the weakness of the interviewers in content production and editing as the main reason to delegate such responsibility to experts in the field. Any negligence in content production might compromise the key values of the interview and alter its goals and objectives.

Despite the accuracy of this approach it shall be stated that content production begins from the beginning of the interview process. It is due to the fact that finding proper narrators, subject selection and provision of questions have been conducted by the interviewer with a specific approach and based on certain objectives which the interviewer has pursued during the interview process. The interview has been led based on the interviewers plan and consequently documents and other relevant literature has been obtained and even has thought about some footnotes and additional explanations. If an interview is the heart of an oral history project then its pulse is controlled by the interviewer and it is him/her who makes the effort to dig information out of the reserves of the narrator and to build an image of the past for the future.


If an interview is the heart of an oral history project then its pulse is controlled by the interviewer and it is him/her who makes the effort to dig information out of the reserves of the narrator and to build an image of the past for the future.


Also, it is the interviewer who has witnessed and observed the emotional state of the narrator in every step and has been directly involved in shaping and creating such emotions and is well aware of the narrator’s concerns.

Considering such deep experiences, delegation of content production to an individual who has had no involvement in the previous steps with no precise knowledge of the sequences has no justification. It might be the reason that in some cases once the content is published the narrator and interviewer claim that the end product does not fulfill their original intention. In cases, the content producer might transform a chronically subject based interview to a subject based interview with no chronology. 

In some projects, portions of the interviews are omitted by the producer since they are considered as irrelevant and neglected. While the interviewer considers the same parts to be essential and insists on preserving them.

Unfortunately, in most cases, the two (interviewer and content producer) operate with no precise knowledge of one another’s objectives and approaches which complicates the process of content production. In fact such circumstances are the outcome of two distinct and independent approaches towards one single project.


To be continued …


Number of Visits: 2974


Full Name:

Book Review: “Sign of God”

The life of Ayatollah Haj Sheikh Ali Badri Dashti
“In memory of the valuable clergy elders who protected the fertile area of Abadan from the negative influences and misbelief, immorality and social evil of the employees of foreigners, westerners and corrupters, and spared no efforts to thwart the social destruction plots of Islamic Iran, so that with the grace of Allah and the standing of the Muslim and committed people and the blood of the martyrs of the clergy and the people, their long-standing wish was fulfilled with the victory of the Islamic Republic.”

Expulsion from the Seminary for Distributing Imam Khomeini Treatise

From the beginning, I could not be a good child; the same child that the high school principal wanted me to be. The same child that the principal of Tavalyat School expected of me. The same manager who fired me if he found out what I was doing. However, I was fired once because I did not know how to live like a child. If I wanted to live the way others wanted me to, ...

334th Night of Memory – 2

The 334th show of the Night of Memory was held in Sooreh Hall of the Art Center on Thursday 1st of Ordibehesht 1401 (April 21, 2022) titled “Men of Enthusiasm Tribe”. It was attended by a number of freed POWs and the families of the martyrs and hosted by Hossein Behzadifar. In the ceremony released also online, misters Reza Abbasi, Amir Mahmoud Najafipour, and Colonel Ahmad Heidari, freed POWs from Tikrit Concentration Camp recounted their memoirs.

The Narrator of Collective Memoirs and Away from Useless Political Tensions

Seyyed Mahmoud Doaei, a calm and humble figure in the field of media, passed away at the age of 81 after several decades of cultural and political activity. From a young age and studying in the seminary of Qom, he joined the clergy movement and from the middle of the 1340s, by migrating to the city of Najaf, he became one of Imam Khomeinis close associates. In Iran, he collaborated with some secret publications, ...