On the rare occasions in the past when I’ve been called upon by media channels to perform in person, I have found the experience mixed. Radio studio or interview are not too bad. You talk into a large microphone, usually in a tiny room with only a few others present, and although you might be being listened to by millions, somehow it all seems surprisingly relaxed. TV, on the other hand I did twice and found it quite unnerving. I was interviewed on Working Lunch about an issue relating to the jewellery industry on one of these occasions, and while we managed to get our points across fairly well, I cannot honestly say I enjoyed the experience of being moved around from point to point with a camera stuck up my nose, while the interviewer probed for weak points in our case.
Yesterday Al Jazeera introduced me to a new kind of media experience – an internet interview. The editor of Listening Post emailed me asking me for a video of myself talking to webcam about the western media coverage of Tibet, which I had blogged about twice in a week. Once I’d worked out how to use the webcam and had the PC set up at the right height and practised once or twice, I let rip.
Here is the result – with multiple blinking, swinging screen in background and strange colour on face from wrong lighting. Al Jazeera asked me to send the file in on a website, which demanded my credit card. Thanks to HSBC in the UK not quite getting the fact that I am now living in the Philippines, I don’t have an international credit card which works on the net, so despite all my efforts, the interview never got to Al Jaz.
Rather than doing what most sensible people would do at that stage, allow the thing to sit til eternity on my PC hard disk untroubled by contact with human eye and ear, I decided in my frustration to upload it onto youtube.