Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Interview on local radio about Police Liaison Teams

I did an interview at 07.40 BST June 21st for BBC Radio Sussex on the recent use of Police Liaison Teams on protests in Brighton and the controversy it generated. They also spoke to a member of the protest group Smash EDO at about 8.30 on the same programme. It should be available on the BBC iPlayer until 28/6/2012 (

What I noticed about the 2 different interviews was that while mine was briefer and I waffled a bit at first, I felt I got much easier treatment from the interviewer than did the speaker from Smash EDO. The presenter was contradicting and interrupting him, and the whole interview seemed much more adversarial than the experience I had. I wonder if this has anything to do with the context in which such interviews are set up, in that so called 'experts' in the field often get treated more respectfully by the media than 'protestors' who can get harsher treatment from journalists. While it makes for a more pleasant experience for me personally when I get asked to speak as an 'academic', it does worry me that people speaking on behalf of protest campaigns may become more reluctant to speak to the media if they feel they are going to be treated unfairly. This could have implications for the balanced representation of such campaigns, and responsible media outlets should encourage balanced and fair reporting- not take sides in sometimes contentious debates.

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