Gerry Adams on David Frost who came at his guests “as if it were a summer’s day…”

Gerry Adams has taken a little time out on the occasion of the passing of David Frost to share his further thoughts on what constitutes good journalism

I was interviewed by David many times. He was always courteous, good humoured, well researched and keenly interested in Ireland and the peace process. There was always a depth to his interviews that is frequently missing in others.

David’s style of interview was unique and effective. He once explained to me that there are two types of interview. One in which the interviewer attacks like a blizzard, a storm, and the response of the guest is to button up, put on the big overcoat and go into protective mode. The other is to come at the guest like a sunny day. This encourages the guest to take off their jacket and relax. In this way you get the more informed and interesting interview. Consequently he was the master of the great interview.

A sunny day is pushing it a bit, but it’s long been my own contention that the slow ball interview is by far the more effective… Not unlike Gerry’s civil interrogation by Marian Finucane earlier in the year…

At the end of the day style matters less than the honesty of the engagement (and the issue of partial disclosure), either way… Here’s another slow ball from the late Dr Anthony Clare, who I fear fares less well than Finucane…

Here’s a recent example of a Frost/Adams interview from 2011 on Al Jazeera (“Peace isn’t always about the absence of conflict…”)

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty