Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Take Time to Have a Chat

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Take Time to Have a Chat

Article excerpt

WE'RE a lazy species at heart and we work mighty hard to keep it that way.

Hours of text messaging ensure we never have to make that 10-minute catch-up call.

Several weeks of planning generally precede the perfect sickie ruse.

And we'll happily turn the house upside down for an hour or more to scrounge together enough money for a pizza (no time for cooking when MasterChef is on).

Curiously, many of us still wonder why aliens haven't bothered to visit.

In my own line of work, modern technology has fused beautifully with unbridled laziness to produce the ubiquitous "email interview".

Journalists will toil for days exchanging emails with surly secretaries and media advisors in order to have their list of questions successfully forwarded, again via email, to the target of their inquiry. Heaven forbid anyone pick up the phone.

In fairness, many interviewees now actually request email interviews because it diminishes the possibility of them being misquoted.

It also gives them ample time and Google space to prepare first, second and final drafts of their witty, off-the-cuff replies.

But that in no way excuses the banality of the questions some journos pose when interviewing "personalities".

"What one word best describes you?" "What is your worst habit?" "What is your secret skill (that is no longer secret)" and my personal un-favourite, "Which five people, living or dead, would you invite to a dinner party?"

Sorry? A dinner party, you say? Do you by chance refer to that quaint old event whereupon guests would, having swotted up on topical issues and conversation openers, put on their Saturday best, purchased a bottle of impressive red, and braced themselves for an evening of culinary show-offsies, cultural one-upmanship and a slide-show presentation of the hosts' recent trip to deepest Africa? …

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