Thursday, February 22, 2007

BBC World Service...Weeks 3 & 4

The last two weeks at World Update were just as exciting as the first two. I met some very interesting people and was given more responsibilities to handle stories all on my own. I was very please when the editor gave me the Liverpool story to handle. Liverpool was bought by two American businessmen and we needed to speak to a sports business expert to say why Americans are now interested in British football and also to say what impacts that will have on the traditions of the club.

We also had to speak to fans and see what they thought about the whole issue. I stressed out in the beginning because the story was out of my comfort zone but was really glad when I pulled it off with the help of the producers on the program. It was good to feel that I wasn't only working on Middle East stories.

I also met Martin Fletcher a journalist at the Times who was recently in Iraq (Ghazaliya) to be specific. In his article he compared the Ghazaliya he had last seen in 2003, a nice green suburb, to the Ghazaliya he saw when he went a month ago, a battered unrecognizable slum. I called him to see if he would come on the show for a live interview to describe in more detail what he saw.

He did agree to the interview and was live with Dan Damon that morning. I showed him out of the building afterwards and had a nice talk. I wasn't really sure what was more exciting for me; chatting to a prominent journalist from The Times or chatting to someone who's just been to Iraq and back.

He was talking about how frustrated American troops really are and about pools of sewage and piles of trash and poor Iraqis with no schools or medical support.

We also had a chat about the changing face of journalism and how he thought print journalism will always exist even if took different forms. He was leaving for Romania that day so I hope he had a good stay and some good stories.

The other really interesting person I met was Brad Meltzer, an American writer who spent a week with George Bush senior who told him what it felt like to be a president one day and have to stop at red signals like everyone else the next day.

One heart breaking story Bush senior shared with Meltzer was that of him giving a final presser in his home lawn and when the media left he realized that he had to clear the coffee cups himself because there was no one to do it that for him anymore. He also spent a day with Bill Clinton who shared what life has been like for him after the presidency.

Meltzer's latest Thriller "The Book of Fate" is about a former president facing that power vacuum. We had a brief chat on his way out in which he declared that coming from Florida he'll probably never get used to English weather.

He also said that despite his politics that are not quiet pro-Bush to say the least , he really did like Bush senior as a person (well … an eighty something person) when he spent time with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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- David