A couple of hours after receiving the email inviting trainee journalists to apply to work as a journalist interview at the International Service’s Human Rights Awards I had rang the lady in charge and submitted my application. The opportunity to interview the award winners and the host, Jon Snow, at the House of Commons excited me so much because of my background. I wanted my application to reflect honestly my experience as an interviewer, passion for human rights and natural inquisitive nature. Fortunately they chose me and after a huge amount of reading up on the charity, the award winners and Jon Snow, I headed across to London. International Service wanted to have material to be able to make a film reflecting the work they do supporting charities in West Africa, Latin America and the Middle East and the importance of International Service’s Human Rights Awards.
On Tuesday, the day before the awards ceremony at the Commons, I interviewed Nabilaye, a Malian development worker. I stood on the banks of the River Thames interviewing Nabilaye, whose charity (ADAC) won the award for the Defence of the Human Rights of People Living with HIV/Aids. He only spoke French and with the help of a translator (who also happened to be the CEO of International Service) and a professional cameraman, he gave a moving interview about the charity he runs in Mali which supports sufferers of aids and HIV there. At the awards ceremony the next day, I interviewed all the other award winners including a reporter and producer from the Channel 4 series ‘Unreported World’ as they had won the award for Global Human Rights Defender. This was quite a daunting task because, as with Jon Snow, they know a thing or two about how to interview!
On Tuesday evening I attended the pre-awards drinks party with the winners and the main sponsor of the awards, none other than the Chairperson of Northern Rock, Bryan Sanderson. Once he realised I was a trainee journalist he became a little cold saying he’s got tens of journalists on his back the whole time to find out the latest. I should just say that he was brought in six weeks ago to sort out the crisis. The next day it was the awards ceremony and the big interview with Jon Snow.