Sunday, April 18, 2004

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Dedicated to the international readers of

This evening I'll be giving a live interview on CNN International at 6:30 PM Central Daylight Time on -- what else -- offshore outsourcing. It's for their CNN Today show.

UPDATE: Well, that was fun -- all 104 seconds of it!! The satellite feed cut out during the middle of the interview and that was that -- that or Ted Turner reeeeaaallly doesn't like me telling the truth and it was a grand conspiracy. [You're sounding like some of your commenters -- snap out of it!--ed. OK -- but I think it's an awfully big coincidence that this happens less than 24 hours before Lou Dobbs inks a contract to write a book on outsourcing for Time/Warner's book division]

Reviewing the tape, however, I learned the following things about doing live, remote interviews:

1) Against all natural instincts, pretend that the camera that you're staring at is actually a person talking to you;

2) Don't count on follow-up questions -- give the entire answer in one shot;

3) Cut out the fried food a week before so the big honking pimple on your forehead is not visible from Mars with the unaided eye;

4) Smile.

I'm moving down the learning curve -- very, very, slowly.

posted by Dan on 04.18.04 at 05:59 PM


Some friendly advice to supplement your self-criticism, from someone's who's worked in television:

"1) Against all natural instincts, pretend that the camera that you're staring at is actually a person talking to you;"

Provided you're doing a remote interview, yes. If it's a live round-table type discussion or a face-to-face interview you MUST look at the person asking you the questions. If you look at the camera under these circumstances it is the scariest thing in the world. Bob Woodward does this -- scary.

Also, based on your radio appearances, there are lots of "you know"s -- something to be aware of. Also, end on a sound bite. Whatever you end on will be your sound bite, so make sure you intend it to be that way.

It's a shame the feed cut out. Better luck next time.

posted by: Philip J. Brinkman on 04.18.04 at 05:59 PM [permalink]

Reverse your thinking. Intellectuals and professors tend to weigh on an issue, look at the pros and cons and then arrive at a conclusion.

In TV you start with the conclustion in a form of a sentence and then you elaborate.

This is why uninformed people make excellent TV interviews.

posted by: Nick Kaufman on 04.18.04 at 05:59 PM [permalink]

Ted Turner does not own CNN anymore. He merged with Time Warner a while back and became vice chariman of Time Warner. He quit last May. He only owns 1.1% of AOL Time Warner stock.

I highly doubt he has any say in what get's broadcast anymore.

posted by: someone who knows on 04.18.04 at 05:59 PM [permalink]

Hey, that's cool! I saw Juan Cole on CNN International last night or this morning or whenever it was that I was awake. I missed you though. But it's still cool to see two American academic bloggers getting worldwide TV coverage on the same day :)

posted by: bubba on 04.18.04 at 05:59 PM [permalink]

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