Words by c.z.robertson

Manufacturing Reality

2001-08-05 01:00:00 UTC

I appeared on Newsnight last night. I was at the Free Dmitry Sklyarov demonstration outside the US embassy, and Newsnight saw fit to devote about ten minutes of airtime to the issue. Quite impressive really.

The effort they put into gathering pretty pictures was rather amusing. It took us about twice as long as it should have done to march from Hyde Park Corner to the embassy because we had to repeatedly walk past the camera in order to get the right images. We were instructed not to look at the camera. The choreography for one of the interviews required that we walk until the interview began, after which we should stop so that the interview had a good backdrop.

All in all, having Newsnight cover a demonstration can be a rather intrusive process.

It reminded me of the last time I appeared on the news, when I was ten years old. One of my neighbours, an old woman, had to repeatedly pour the same cup of tea for the camera. This was for the sake of getting an image of her going about her everyday life -- as if everyday she poured herself a thoroughly cold cup of tea while trying her best to ignore a camera.