Friday, March 11, 2005

Interview technique

Channel 4 had an interesting programme last night as part of their 'Banned' season on advertising censorship and one item struck a real chord with me. They showed a simple, unbroadcast party political broadcast for the Monster Raving Loony Party (now rebranded as Veritas). I wasn't struck by their message, but by the background sound track to the advert.

Back in 1989, Neil Kinnock was interviewed by James Naughtie for The World at One on Radio 4 about Labour's alternative to government policy. A large chunk of the interview had to be excised because Neil objected to the way Jim Naughtie was questioning him and lost his temper, accusing the R4 presenter of trying to 'kebab' him. If you follow the link above, you can click through to hear a programme about political interviews and the segment starts at around 11 minutes 30 secs in.

Listening to the unbroadcast segment, I wasn't struck by the anger, but by the sheer passion in Kinnock's voice. Simply typing the words doesn't do justice - you have to hear his anger at the Thatcher administration and you can tell that he cared about was happening at the time. At the time, Kinnock was slammed for losing his cool, but I don't think he comes out of it badly, with the benefit of hindsight.

That's the kind of passion we need from our current crop of bland, media-friendly, career-minded politicians, although they would be helped if the media could step back from trying to summarise party policy in seven seconds of soundbite.

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