I spent nearly two hours Monday on the phone - the first call was to wish my dad happy Father's Day in America. The second call was to catch up with a girlfriend in Northland.

We often phone friends and family for connection - to share a piece of our lives - joys, challenges, maybe to whinge a bit.

When I ring someone as a reporter, I'm seeking information, not commiseration. My job is asking questions, listening, taking notes and later recounting what you say accurately.

Private citizens often grant interviews to journalists about people, places and issues they're passionate

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