Archive for February, 2007

The curse of the kitchen table Pt 1

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Note my pique in above posting concerning security in Chicago. So it’s not just me. Ewan MacAskill reports in the Guardian so it must be true.

Prima Donnas and dons

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Over the last six years I’ve worked with a lot of journalists from all over the world. I like journalists, I like their enquiry and focus and mordant sense of humour. I’ve met journalists who risk their lives to follow up stories and some who live outside their own countries for fear of their lives. It’s certainly true that the journalists I have met have all been exceptional and clever – that’s the sort of people who tend to wash up in Oxford (as well as the simply odd ones I fear.)

I think that telling the stories and doing the solid research is important. It’s one of the reasons I try to help journalists needing help from the academics I now work with. I try to find out what they need, help find someone who can and will help and is actually in the country. What I have to say I was not prepared for was extreme rudeness from someone who called today. I did my usual Ms helpful act and then remembered she might not have the correct accreditation for our institute. I should have been warned when she barked “whaddywant” down the phone when I called back to ask her to make an accurate accreditation. Then went on with “I can’t do this” (say it in a rather aggressive east coast American accent and you’ll get more of the idea).

It’s not a good idea to be rude to people – especially those like me who may have some difficulty in remembering who starred in Cabaret (you know, whatsit, thingy’s daughter) but has no trouble at all in remembering a grudge for years and years. I forgive short temper in emergency situations – blood leaping ceilingwards in an operating theatre perhaps or a failing telephone line with the guns getting closer but frankly technology reporting just isn’t that dangerous. Anyway, she knows who she is and so do I.