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Thursday, Jan 29, 2004

trained bares

ďAbout all we interview any more are professional talkers,Ē says Bob Schieffer, who tries to squeeze informational tidbits from those talkers every Sunday on CBSís Face the Nation. The professional part, of course, stems from who his guests are, mainly public officials. But it also flows from the teachings of media trainers, a branch of public relations that originated at J. Walter Thompson in the mid-1970s. Media training was largely a dual response to the tough questioning of Mike Wallace and others on 60 Minutes and the needs of the new business-media outlets that called for a constant stream of corporate executives to chat on the air. Soon other p.r. firms established media training practices, sensing a lucrative sideline in coaching people to handle tough questions."