When there’s a political drama, you can be sure of one thing. Sky News political editor David Speers will be captured on camera, with his phone. What’s he doing? Who’s he talking to? Spoiler alert: he’s not on Facebook.
What’s your latest technology purchase?
A new tablet/laptop called a Microsoft Surface Pro. Because I spend a fair bit of time on the road, I wanted something lightweight but with a keyboard for the increased amount of writing I’m doing. It has a touchscreen and even a pen you can write on it with, which is handy. When I sit in Parliament taking notes during question time, or if I’m in a press conference, typing on the iPad slows me down.
What apps do you use the most?
I use Twitter (@David_Speers) throughout the day. I don’t tweet as much as a lot of journalists but I do look at it for news and to keep up to date with what’s going on. Other than that, I use the standard weather and banking apps as well as kids’ apps for my two little ones.
Any other social networking sites you use?
I’m a Luddite when it comes to Facebook; it’s not really on my radar. I haven’t explored Instagram, either. In terms of breaking news, Twitter is more effective for my purposes.
Have you ever regretted a tweet?
No, I’m pretty judicious about tweets I send out. In the early days I did get into a few Twitter arguments with other journalists or viewers. These days I see what people have to say about me but I don’t dwell on it or get stressed about it. I’ll certainly pick up any useful feedback.
What’s your favourite social-media moment?
Probably when news is breaking politically – whether it’s a leadership spill or an election night – and there’s a lot of engagement on Twitter from all sorts of people and developments unfolding in real time. I find it really fascinating that there’s this town square where everyone can jump in.
What internet sites do you visit?
The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and, obviously, Sky News. I’ll also look at The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal a fair bit. I go to their websites as opposed to their apps because I know they’re going to be refreshed and updated frequently. I use Google a lot for checking.
Real books or e-books?
I get the whole e-book phenomenon but I’m still into real books.
What technology do you take on planes?
I always have my iPhone 5 and it’s got everything I need. Usually on a short domestic leg I’ll do a bit on the iPhone and then maybe have a snooze.
How do you feel about wi-fi on planes?
I do like having a bit of time without phone calls but it would allow me to keep working throughout a flight and keep in contact.
What’s your worst technology habit?
I’ll put the phone down when I’m home trying to spend time with the family but it does tend to ring fairly regularly. That said, I don’t sit there scrolling through emails or Twitter. I think I’m pretty balanced.
Do you ever have technology-free time?
On a holiday I’ll switch the phone off and only check it every couple of days. But on the weekend I’ll check it every couple of hours to keep up to date.
You’re waiting in a long queue. How do you pass the time?
Always with the iPhone – usually emails first, Twitter second and if I get bored, I’ll start looking at news sites, probably starting with The Australian and going from there. I can happily spend an hour waiting in a queue or a taxi rank.
What’s the best tech invention?
The iPhone; it’s been a game changer. For what I do and how I do it, the ability to access any kind of information, anywhere at any time, has been revolutionary. ￼