OXFORD MEDIA SOCIETY
Listening to Emily Maitlis speak to Media Society last week, I was struck by the curious space occupied by an interviewer. Maitlis talked about the odd conflict between trying to get something out of one’s interviewee and the effort to form a sort of collaboration. The latter task, she mentioned, became particularly difficult when sat opposite someone whose political views do not align with her own. Marina Hyde’s column on Prince Andrew forms a fascinating counterpoint to Maitlis’ famous interview: in her ever-incisive style, she says everything that Maitlis could not.
This conundrum is just one thread in a wider web of the press’ confused relationship with its subjects. Max Hasting’s article in The Times explores the history of journalistic and political corruption in Britain, placing recent controversies in a wider — and indeed bleaker — context.
And yet, media collaborations can also be a force for good: journalists are, in essence, storytellers, with the ability to shine a light on tales that might otherwise not be told. Fellow podcast lovers should take a look at the recent episode of Elizabeth Day’s ‘How to Fail’, in which she speaks to Yusra Mardini. Having watched ‘The Swimmers’, it was wonderful to hear a more personal account of Mardini’s life. The conversational nature of any interview allows ostensibly small details to come to the forefront of discussion, and this podcast is no exception: it is filled with anecdotes that weld to form an incredibly powerful picture.