I've just got back from doing my 'bit' on Scottish radio, and although I'll probably be commenting more when I can hear it from the radio archives I thought you might like my initial feelings as to how it went.
Bob – Vehemently anti-blogging businessman
Ian – Pro-blogging journalist
Nick – Lawyer who has helped write 'blogging policy' documents
Yours Truly – Befuddled newcomer to radio
First impressions of the BBC are good – a nice clean entry hall and public spaces leading to what can only be described as radio-geek heaven, plenty of blinking lights, boxes on shelves and wiring. I almost feel at home.
I'm led into a little box studio, told to put on the headphones and talk into the red microphone – I try to get comfortable, but am having minor attacks of nerves. Over the headphones various producers as me if I am alright.
I'm on! A little introduction by the host, and then his first question “Tell us about your job?”.
Erm…what do I do again? I have a vision of me dressed in a green uniform doing something to a sick person. I answer the question badly.
“Tell us about why you blog?” – Aha! Something I prepared for. A wander through a little bit of history which probably doesn't make much sense.
Then Bob enters – described as very anti-blogging he goes right on the offensive and calls me…Racist!
Because, it is apparently racist to ask my readers which language I should learn in order to better understand patients who don't speak English. So in trying to better serve the people of Newham (and Bob doesn't know where Newham is, let alone our population demographics) and learn a language that is understandable to our 'client group', I'm labelled as racist.
I give what I think is a fairly good response (did I laugh at him on air?), and I didn't need to swear.
If I was racist, I wouldn't work in Newham, and if I wrote anything racist, I'm be disciplined by work so quickly it'd make my head spin.
(“Hot Asians” was about how half my work that night seemed to be Asians with high temperatures, and I was trying to be witty, comparing it to a top shelf magazine. Disliking drunks I'll admit to – and you wouldn't like them much if you died of a heart attack with no ambulance to send because we were all busy dealing with 'people who drink to get drunk').
There then follows a bit of a chat about how Blogging is publishing without boundaries that Ian is happy about, Bob is dismayed over, and Nick is cautious over. Ian then goes on to steal a number of points that I wanted to make, which is good as he is a much better radio performer than I.
Sensing the end of the piece, I try to fit in as many of the points that I wanted to talk about as possible – so it probably came out as a rambling stream of consciousness gabble. I Get cut short before I can start name-checking people, I then feel disappointed that the piece wasn't longer as I think I was starting to get into the flow of things.
Interview over, I am thanked and slink off back home – not entirely happy with how it turned out, but I'm not suicidal about it either. I'll see how I feel about it when I hear it played back.
If you want a look “behind the curtain” then you can look at what my notes consisted of (.doc document)
If any of the people who were involved in the show want to talk further – my email is on this page, feel free to get in touch. I'd especially like Bob to get in touch to see if he really believes what he was saying, or if he was just taking a very 'anti' position for the purposes of the piece.
And thanks to everyone who offered me some advice, it was all good and I think had the piece been a bit longer I would have had more chance to shine.
Hmmm, perhaps a podcast?