Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cutting room floor

My cryptic reference in the previous post was to the fact that I expected to be part of this Channel 4 evening news story on mobile VoIP. Certainly when I accepted their invitation to be interviewed I believed that to be the case, but when I arrived home last night, my elder daughter greeted me with the news that I seem to have been edited out. Then again, I can understand the editorial imperative - it was a busy news day with lots of British class warfare issues to delve into ad nauseum.

This is sadly indicative of much of my recent contact with mainstream media. More than once have I agreed to lengthy interviews with print journalists working on a major feature piece, only to be edited out subsequently. What I have noticed invariably is that the content of these interviews nevertheless turns up in the final version as useful, unattributed "background," thus making the sometimes clue-challenged journalists look better informed than is actually the case.

That's all part of the game, obviously, but what I find irksome is the sheer time-wasting aspect. C4 contacted me last week, saying they would turn up at my office at 9:30 AM. Over the weekend the segment producer called to ask if I could go to Canary Wharf instead. I said no. Then yesterday I got a call saying they would need to push back until 10:00 AM. Fine. Then another call to say they were running behind. Eventually they arrived. After the cameraman indiscriminately unplugged the computer of one of my colleagues without asking and set up his kit, we started shooting at 11:45, did about 20 minutes of what I thought was decent footage, and they were gone by 12:15 - but so was half of my day.

I don't think I'll bother with this sort of trivia in future, and to be honest I'm appalled that I allowed myself to fall for the allure of an appearance on broadcast TV. I guess I'm showing my age here. Anyway, it's certainly good coverage for the Truphone team, and is certainly good for promoting general awareness of what's possible in an IP world.

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