...would you capture it or just let it slip?
Imagine yourself to be a radio DJ, with a waning reputation for being a bit of a firebrand, a bit of a wildcard. The self-styled "saviour of British radio". And, for reasons too banal to go in to, you find yourself at Chequers to promote "Sports Relief" with the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Charles Lynton Blair. After a little knockabout fun, in the middle of which you both jog a mile as part of the campaign, you are wrapping up the interview, and have the chance to ask any question you like. Which of the following questions would you ask?
(a) "Mr Blair, a lot of our listeners are young people, and many of them are in the armed forces, or have friends and family who are. Their lives are being put in danger in Iraq on a daily basis; yet, no weapons of mass destruction have been found, nor is their any credible evidence that Iraq was a threat to the UK. What do you say to those who have lost loved ones in the conflict: what has their loss and suffering achieved?"
(b) "Prime Minister, a lot of our listeners are young people, many of whom will be voting for the first time in the elections in 2005 or 2006. What would you highlight as the achievements of your government over the past seven years, and how would you encourage them to cast their votes?"
(c) "So Tony, a lot of our listeners are young people, and they'd all like to know: what's your favourite cheese?"
To find out which question got asked, listen to the second interview here. [about 6minutes into the clip].
A level of journalism that makes asking Tim Westwood "are you aware that you are white?" look like Paxmanian interviewing. Well, it was a pertinant question in that case.