Most people reading this will already be aware of the Total Politics interview with David Cameron. Today I finally got around to reading it in full, and something struck me about what makes it truly refreshing - a lack of ... well, pointless commentary. After a brief paragraph introducing the interview, the only text for the rest of the article is Iain Dale's brief questions and Cameron's answers.
Most interviews with politicians in the print media that I have read instead include long commentary between every phrase uttered by the interviewee, with the journalist explaining his thoughts on each answer, and what leads him to ask the next question:
"I do hope not!" he shoots back at this point. I am surprised at his candour. Does this abruptness help explain his failure to reach the top? As I look around his dark and spartan office, I see little sign of the human touch - his shelves bare but for an old dictionary and a pile of Hansards. How does he relax at home? Does he enjoy sport or comedies, I ask?
Does anyone prefer this stuff to a simple layout of the questions and answers? Does anyone actually care very much what the interviewer is thinking? Is it some journalists' egos that make so many of them write up interviews differently? Or is there some rule of journalism that demands the reader be walked through the entire discussion, rather than simply read a full account what was said without the intrusive narration? This reader does not need his hand held.