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In Defence of John Humphrey's

OK, it's been a bit of an odd mixture of posts this evening, but I seem to have been thinking about lots of different things today.

We took the dog upto Whinlatter today, which was nice, was really pretty to see all the light shining through all the larch trees (which haven't grown their needles back yet) all covered in moss.

Anywho, on the way there we were listening to Feedback on Radio 4. There had been a number of people who'd written/phoned in complaining about John Humphrey's interview style and the fact that it was rude of him to keep interupting people the way he does.

I can see where they're coming from, but I still think I like the way he does it. At the end of the day anyone who agrees to an interview with him should know what they're getting themselves in for, it's not as if his style isn't public knowledge. He makes people defend their views in interviews, which cannot be a bad thing and this helps hold the interview together. You hear so many interview where the interviewee is able to steer the conversation onto something different to avoid difficult topics that it's good to have something different.

At the end of the day, it's an interview not a presentation. If you agree to an interview you have to accept that there may be difficult questions and you are not entirely in control of the topics of discussion.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
11th Mar, 2006 10:44 (UTC)
Indeed. Actually I haven't heard any Humphrys interviews so I don't know. But I remember Pazman saying that of course he wouldn't be with that like a normal person, but he had to use nuclear converstions on politicians to get them to say anything.

Interrupting is not polite. But ignoring a question and repeating something else at length, relying on social conventions to stop you being asked again, isn't polite either, just slightly less obvious.

Conversation is a cooperation. You assume that everyone gets a chance to speak, hence interrupting them is impolite. But you can abuse that assumption -- if people never stop talking, interrupting is obviously necessary. But the interviewee relies on pretending he's saying something relevent, and shouldn't be interrupted.
Dave Holland [org.uk]
13th Mar, 2006 09:56 (UTC)
I am obliged to ask: John Humphrey's what?

I agree with you about interview-vs-presentation. It drives me up the wall when interviewees (usually high-up politicians) try to wriggle out of answering questions, or answer a question subtly different from the one that was asked, or ignore interruptions, or...
13th Mar, 2006 18:55 (UTC)
I am obliged to ask: John Humphrey's what?

Li'sa has already chastised me for that one...

...but I'm not correcting it (not that I'm being stubborn or anything...)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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