Thursday 27 November 2008

My Media Experience

I said back in a post on the 2nd October 2008 that I would tell you a story of my media experience. It happened 5 years ago when I was about to turn 40 and it was a very exciting time. It was my "five minutes of fame" time Its a long read which also takes you to another long read on another website but I am sure you will enjoy both.

Fast approaching 40 as a wife, mother, carer, and involved in a few church things, i.e. children’s liturgy, fund raising for the church organ and webmaster for the SHCTK website, my interest in the computers was about to thrust me into the world of media attention.
A few years ago, I asked Fr Leo's permission to launch a website for Sacred Heart and Christ the King after an old school friend who now lives and works as a policewoman in Penrith gave me the idea. With the help of Andrew Mitchell who runs the Scottish Catholic website I progressed from using Microsoft Word to create the website using a programme called Dreamweaver. Being relatively new to the computer and eager to learn and desperate to have advice without spending a fortune on bringing out professional people to help me every time I had a problem with my computer I needed to find a good online source of computer literate people who would be willing to help me quickly. My brother in law who had a few years experience on me suggested a forum called By Users I use this forum anytime my computer has a problem, be it hardware or software. Although I couldn’t give any help or advice back I found myself posting threads in the Chat forum and joining in general non-computer conversations as well as getting the help I needed in the technical forums. On reaching my 1000th post I was awarded a title of Waffler Supreme. Obviously by my 1000th post, the regular visitors and the moderators on this Forum were well aware of the Church website that I was running. Then on the 18th of August I got an email from one of the moderators on By Users who had been approached...well here’s the contents of the email he sent to me for you to read

Hi, Di. Hope you don't mind my contacting you like this.

Alex Brown ("Internet Infrastructure Consultant, Internet & Interactive Services, Telewest Broadband") has sent me an e-mail that is (in as many ways) as Top Secret as your "Let's Do The Show Right Here", and I'd like to share it with you.

At the end of the month a vicar based in Bath (Somerset, South West corner of England) intends to give a "streamed" on-line sermon. Blueyonder has stepped in to offer resources, and would like to show it as a "success story" by having someone a long way away from Scotland, perhaps... doing a bit for the press, have their photo taken watching the Sermon, something like that.

Alex asked me if I knew of anyone who might fit the bill, and I thought of you (naturally). You're already used to dealing with the media and, of course, you actually know what a sermon is.

I suspect you and the Vicar may bat for opposite teams (as it were), but hope that wouldn't be an obstacle.

Ok so what was my other media experience? You need to read my story being hosted on The Holy Family website. Once there “Enter” the website and scroll down the left hand side to “Archives”. Click on that and when you get there scroll down to" Personal Pieces" and “Diana Hunter Lets Do the Show Right Here”. It’s a really good read with pictures of Jackie Bird and James Macpherson from Taggert. This will explain my other media experience. I was sharing the excitement of this production on the Chat forum of By-users. At that point it was just the production team recording our meetings regarding the show that was to be recorded on 15th September and broadcast on 31st October 2003. I had also posed as a dead body for our local newspaper the Falkirk Herald to advertise the show. So of course I replied to Mr Brown giving my mobile phone number and said I would be delighted to help...having absolutely no idea what it was involving. After agreeing to this my point of contact would be a Mr John Moorwood.
He told me that I had two jobs.... one would be a live broadcast for Radio Bristol and the other an interview at my computer watching the sermon from Bath conducted by Rev Alan Bain and being made newsworthy by Sky News.
My first job taking part in the promotion of Broadband Religion would be to talk to a reporter LIVE on Radio Bristol....mmmmmmm I thought.... that should be easy enough as I have talked to the production team of LDTSRH on a few occasions, but I had to be up early to talk to them about Broadband Religion at 7.30am. The phone call came and I could hear in the background the Radio Bristol show going out live to its audience. At this point I was still very calm but as the minutes passed I could start to feel my heart beat increasing as the time for my chance to give my view on Broadband Religion come closer and closer. I was sat all alone at my computer with the phone in my hand as all my family were asleep in bed yet wishing someone was here to help calm my nerves. Finally the reporter announces that on the line is Diana Hunter from Scotland and asks me what the weather is like. Amazingly I managed to get out that it was a lovely day, which is rare in Scotland but after thatthings started to go downhill. I was asked several questions on what I thought about forthcoming broadcast and I managed to give a few opinions about it but as the interview went on I could feel the nerves getting the better of me and my voice started to tremble terribly. At the end of the interview I was disconnected without any thanks or reassurance that I had done Ok. I went back to my bed and burst into a flood of tears. All day I felt like I had let Telewest down with that interview. At this point I already knew that my next job was to be an interview going out live to the Sky News team in London. I went on the phone and begged my point of contact on Sky News to send a reporter to keep me calm on the morning of the broadcast. This would take place on 31st August 2003. That morning the family were all up early as we were told a mobile satellite van would arrive early to set up the cameras and to wire me up for sound. The van looked very much like a television
detector van with its satellite on top of it. The cameraman came in at set up his camera and all I kept asking was when the reporter would arrive. I was wired up for sound as I would have to talk to the studio in London though the earpiece.... this I could accept as I knew my reporter would be here soon to keep me calm. Sitting at my computer waiting for the first sermon being broadcast live online I could here the man in the van talking to me through the ear piece telling me it would be soon that I would be talking to their newsreader in London.
At the same time I could here the news programme being broadcast from London in the ear piece so sometimes it was a little confusing when the man in the van talked to me. The cameraman would prompt me to reply to the man in the van. I was being reassured that the reporter had arrived and was in the mobile van and would be up shortly. Meanwhile the time was getting closer and closer to the LIVE television interview I would be giving about what I thought about the online broadcast. Suddenly I was told that my interview was imminent and my company was the camera man and my family at the bedroom door.... amazingly I managed to give full answers to all of the questions ask by the newsreader and breathed a sigh of relief when it was over. Meanwhile my husband had been recording the live interview for me to watch which I did almost straight away. The news reported came in that was supposed to be holding my hand and calming my fears congratulated me on a very good interview but I felt totally drained and was desperate to watch the video my husband had recorded. I stood transfixed to the television screen as I watched myself in the interview. It was one of the strangest feelings I have ever had. I was aware of another person coming into the house but I couldn’t take my eyes of the television until my interview had finished. And then I couldn’t stop talking to the reported and the other member of the mobile production team about the experience and about what I thought about Broadband Religion. I was then told that they wanted to record another interview to broadcast later on in the day. So the whole family had to be involved in while I made a cup of tea the children put away the dishes that my husband was washing. Then sitting at the computer again the reporter asked some more questions. After the interview I felt a little disappointed because I felt I hadn’t given a good account of the service Telewest were offering. In hindsight I wished the reporter had just let me say what I wanted to say about it.
But I was assured once again that the interview went well and it was broadcast with obvious editing later that afternoon. But unfortunately I missed it because we were rehearsing with my nieces for the Lets Do the Show Right Here that we had coming up in September. Telewest were kind enough to send me the video tape of all the news coverage of that day about Broadband Religion as keepsake, so I did get to see all of the news reports that I was featured in.
Well between Sky News, Radio Bristol and Radio Scotland LDTSRH fund raising for the church organ you think that would be enough media experience for a lifetime especially as I celebrated my 40th birthday in the month of September but that was not the case. The following year my mobile phone goes again and it is Mr John Moorwood...."I bet you didn’t expect to hear from me again" comes the voice after the introduction..."well err no" was my reply. This time they asked if I would be a case study for the general introduction of Broadband Internet for Telewest. There was to be a special report about broadband Internet involving all the companies but Telwest were to provide a case study of a broadband user. "I'm delighted to help again,” says I. This time I would be interviewed by Chris Torney from the Daily Express over the mobile phone. This happened a few hours later and a photographer would come to the house when all of the family were at home and take pictures and the best one would be published in the newspaper.
The interview was very easy.... it was just like talking to a friend about the benefits of broadband internet and we all enjoyed our photographs being taken, except my husband...he hates being centre of attentions! The picture that was published was one of me looking over the shoulder of my daughter at the computer.
Of all my media experience no one I know heard me on Radio Bristol, no one except my family saw me on Sky News, only family and friends that know about the Radio Scotland show listened to it but I got a few texts on my mobile from friends that saw me in the Daily Express. Oh well so much for media fame!!.... I don't need to wear the dark glasses to avoid public attention or to hide from autograph hunters!!

Friday 14 November 2008

Busy doing nothing

Its been a while since I have posted to my blog and I can honestly say I haven't got a genuine excuse. It's not like I have been rushed off my feet with orders. More like I have been messing about with my website trying to update it with what I have available for special Christmas presents and setting up an online payment method. Finally I can accept payment via email through paypal. Also I have been helping a florist friend by creating a small 3 page website so that she can get an online presence. She has had her website domain name for a number of years but after a problem with a company that was supposed to be creating her website she hasn't done anymore to set it up. Once I have her live and kicking I will post a link to her website on here also.
Finally while surfing one of my favourite websites I discovered a downloadable picture to promote it. So I will add it to my side bar so that everyone who decides to read my blog will know that I am a member of a craft forum.