Welcome to Quick Q – Monday Media’s weekly Q&A series dedicated to finding out more about the personalities that matter most in the Australian media landscape.
Every week, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age asks key figures across corporate media, business, sport, federal politics, radio, television and culture to answer a series of questions about their life, careers, hobbies and news habits.
This week’s questionnaire is with ABC News Breakfast host, Michael Rowland.
How did you get your big break?
Applying to be the ABC’s Washington Correspondent in 2004, I told the interview panel that I thought that young Democratic Senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama was certainly one to watch. They agreed, and off to the US I went for the next four years.
What are daily news media habits?
I read all the local papers online from 3am and keep across the big overseas news websites. When I’m on-air, I am constantly trawling through all the major news feeds on Twitter for any breaking news. I graze during the day, then feast again at night on PM, and then the commercial and ABC news bulletins, topped up with 730 for dessert. It is pretty hard to switch off in my job.
Which living person do you most admire?
Keith Richards. Mainly because of the fact he is still living, despite everything he has done to his body over the years. Also, he’s still in fine musical form at 77.
Your guilty streaming pleasure?
Endless repeats of Fawlty Towers. It never gets old! I have to watch it secretly because no one else in my family thinks the show is remotely funny. They clearly don’t appreciate champagne comedy.
Which phrase do you overuse?
‘How’s the weather looking, Nate?’
What did you want to do when you grew up?
See the next answer.
What was your first job?
Management trainee at Westpac. Yes, the possibilities…. There’s a Michael Rowland who is ANZ’s chief financial officer, and I have often thought about asking him about a job-swap. Given he probably earns more in a month than I do in an entire year, I don’t reckon he’d be tempted. I am in journalism for the love of it anyway…
Facebook or Instagram?
Heavy user of both, but Instagram is a bit more fun!
Recommend a podcast…
I have been really getting into ‘The Daily Aus’. In 5 to 10 minutes you get a summary of all the day’s news, plus a really engaging deep dive into a big issue. Zara and Sam do a brilliant job at presenting the top stories. I’m (just a bit) outside of their youthful demographic, but I love it all the same!
What’s one vice you wish you could give up?
Snakes. (The lolly kind).
The song that’s always on high rotation?
Flame Trees, by Cold Chisel. I just love this song.
What are you reading?
‘Media unmade: Australian media’s most disruptive decade’, by Tim Burrowes. It is a bracing account of the massive upheaval the media sector has gone through over the last 10 years, as reader and audience habits rapidly changed. It has particular resonance for me, as I have lived through the pivots the ABC has made (and is continuing to make) to go to where the eyeballs are.
Favourite movie of the past decade?
Spotlight. It chronicles the dogged work by Boston Globe reporters to expose systemic child sex abuse within the local Catholic Church. It is a film that shows the power of good journalism, and its ability to changes lives.
Top of your sporting bucket list?
Watching the mighty Western Bulldogs win the AFL 2016 Premiership. I live in Melbourne’s west, and the community party went on for weeks!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
News Editors and Executive Producers have used variations over the years of: ‘Don’t **** it up!’ I always take that gentle advice on board.
What are the three things you couldn’t live without?
My family, morning coffees, and oxygen.
Source: Thanks smh.com