Sunday, 9 December 2007

Jon Snow: My big interview at the House of Commons

It’s not the first time I’ve blogged about Jon Snow - see October 14th - but I never thought I’d be typing away about interviewing him. These opportunities jump out at you from nowhere and you’ve got to make the most of them.

I was told I could have as long as I needed with Jon so in the days leading up to the interview I researched high and low about his life and why as a trustee, he devotes his time to the human rights development charity
International Service. Sat next to the Thames on the paved area of the House of Commons, I was approaching the end of an interview with Catalina Devandas, a specialist in disabled rights (see photo below) when I noticed in the corner of my eye the tall, silver haired Jon Snow had arrived. Once we’d filmed the reverse shots of my interview with Catalina, I confidently introduced myself and asked him to follow me to a quieter area to conduct the interview.

As any good interviewer should with a liberal amount of time to question, I veered away from my eleven written questions where it felt appropriate to explore his answers. When asked how human rights news stories should be presented, he was adamant that there was no need to be balanced since it’s so broadly agreed that basic human rights are fundamental to everyone. Whilst arguing that there are too few human rights stories covered in the news, he acknowledged that with the decline in European and American news organisations' foreign bureaus, there will be even fewer human rights stories covered.

At the end of the interview, I said that classic line with confidence, ‘Jon Snow, thank you very much’ with a shake of the hand. It was over and I was delighted about the way the interview had gone. The one mistake was that I was so focused on conducting the interview that I forgot to get a photo with him!

However far I do or don’t get in the world of journalism, I will always relish the opportunity to interview a man so well regarded both professionally as the newsreader of
Channel 4 News and personally, for the amount of work he does for charities like International Service. It was a great pleasure and another name to add to the list of people I’ve interviewed. I’m looking forward to the next big interview, wherever it appears from. Read below how I got this opportunity and who else I interviewed at the Commons…

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