Take the Scenic Route

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Being Eaten by Media For Lunch

My relationship with the media has always been a bit fraught. My first quotation in a newspaper was at the age of 13, quoting from a conversation that never took place. By the middle of high-school, the journalism teacher had started sending journalism students to me for breaking in. The teacher had told them the topic on which I was to be interviewed (often about some geeky pursuit or happening) and some background information. The stories were largely written by the time I was interviewed, or at least they had developed a strong pre-conceived notion of what I should have to say. This usually didn't map up with what I had to say at all, and the production would grind to an impasse, and not usually be published.

I got a call in the January after my 5th form year, asking if I could be photographed opening my School C. results. Much to the horror of my parents, I straight out declined. On seeing the photograph the following day of someone faux jumping in the air, results in hand, I knew I'd made the right decision.

As a continuation of the "breaking in" method, I was interviewed at least once about University of Otago's wonder Summer Science School program. Said interviewer was intent on writing an article about how beneficial the science component of it was. It's not the official line, but the school is not really about science, but getting students excited about studying science. And this has to do with kicking round having a hell of a lot of fun in Dunedin, with a side helping of science. Apparently making Raro from distilled water with a magentic stirrer is not newsworthy. But I was attributed to have thought that it was a helpful educational experience which better prepared me for seventh form.

Since I moved to Dunedin, I've managed to keep my nose fairly clean with respect to journalists. The only notable foray was an appearance on Breakfast to find out about Susan Wood's experiences in public toilets. That interview was OK, possibly because I knew the topic inside out. Live-to-air means you can't be misquoted, but I can relish the amount I say "um", and the occasional awkward turn of phrase. I still have a copy of the video, which means I have archival footage of my old curly mane.

Then, earlier this year, out of the blue, I got a call from a prominent Australian newspaper. They were wondering if I could venture an informed opinion on why the Tasmanian wife of Denmark's Crown Prince had "lost" her Australian accent.

Today, I got to speculate on why Jacqui sometimes speaks cockney styles, and why American Hip Hop vernacular is so prevalent on TV...


At Fri Dec 03, 09:04:00 AM GMT+13, Blogger Jessie said...

Limegreen = spokesman for a generation


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