It happens to the best of us! And yes, I’m blogging about it.
CNN’s Jim Clancy is doing a special edition of ‘The Brief’ tonight, where we – the audience – ask him and some experts questions about last week’s quake in Haiti. Here’s what he Tweeted about it:
I’m going to be asking all of you for a little help in putting together a special edition of ‘The Brief’ on Wednesday. Details to come! 😉
A Special Edition of the Brief on Wednesday. Instead of me (Jim) asking YOU the Question of the Day — you will pose it!
We want to know what questions you have about the Haiti Relief Effort. We’ll have a panel of experts ready to answer YOUR Question LIVE!
I’ll record them starting several hours before the Brief and get a few to play during the show. I told you this would be different!!! 😉
After ‘The Brief,’ we’re going to continue the discussion online using Skype. You’ll be able to join a chat with ‘ClancyHaiti’ if you like!
Naturally, I pounced on the opportunity and Tweeted my questions to him. Jim then contacted me to say
Sanjukta – Do you want to record a Question via Skype? You have a camera — if you go online I’ll call you!
Hi Jim! Nervous but ready by my computer! I can record the message and send it via Skype? Or do it on Skype?
We’ll do it on Skype…call you now?
@sanjukta_m I will call you now. Everyone: We have guest experts including Gen. Honore who helped sort New Orleans in the end.
The questions I’d prepared were:
Why, if there are as many relief groups out there as media reports claim, is it still taking ages for the aid to get to Haitians?
Is Dom Rep the only means by which aid gets to Haiti, since ports are jammed? Is that why?
And what are reporters there doing to help – like Dr. Gupta? Are they providing any medical assitance?
Is there some form of order there or is it anarchy on the streets?
What is the government’s presence there? Why are they not playing more of a leadership role in this disaster?
When I posted my questions, I decided to try my luck with Skype and added Jim. Sure enough, I got a direct message from him (see above) asking if he could call me now!
Naturally, I had to scrub up a little 😉 Fighting to control the butterflies in my stomach, I recorded my message first on my computer, just to test that they sounded all right; that the lighting and sound quality on my Mac were fine. It took me 3 takes before I was satisfied with how I sounded and with how the questions were rephrased.
Jim then called me, and we talked for a while about how it was to be done. I was to pause, look straight at the camera and say “Hi Jim, this is Sanjukta from Budapest. Here is my question for you”, before going on to ask it. I asked him if I could ask all my questions, but he suggested I just pick the best one.
He asked me if I had a medical question, as they were short on those. I said yes, and then recorded that one. He liked it very much, said it was “awesome”, in fact! Jim then asked if I’d record another one 🙂
I like to think I was the only one who was allowed to record two questions for this special show, but I’m almost certain I wasn’t! I asked my question on the government’s role, and what their presence and action in this disaster were.
It’s something I’m actually rather curious about, since precious little has been heard since the presidential palace was destroyed. It seems to me as if the quake struck; then rescue missions, NGOs and relief agencies have taken over. The international press certainly has a huge presence there, but we’ve not heard that much coming from the Haitian government.
Jim then thanked me, very sweetly I might add, and said to look out for my questions on the show! He called me back a few minutes later to ask if we could record it again as he wasn’t sure he had it on the system. He then replayed it and discovered it was alright. It was rather strange to hear my recorded voice on his computer in Altanta, Georgia!
He once again thanked me, and we hung up. I’m still ecstatic about it – I’ve been watching Jim Clancy on TV for years and have so much respect for him. His approach to stories is amazing, and I love how he always puts the human face of a piece first and foremost.
Speaking to him was surreal – it sounds ditzy, but it was so great to hear the same voice I see on TV, on Skype with me! He mispronounced my name and then corrected himself and apologised for that once he heard me pronounce it. I was still reeling from the fact that he said my name!!
In short, this was a fantastic experience! The show is on within the next hour so you can be sure I’ll catch that and keep you posted on how it all turned out 🙂
Whether or not I was included, speaking to Jim Clancy is an experience I’ll never forget. I’m glad I had time to tell him how much I respected his style of journalism, and how much admiration he has here, this side of the Iron Curtain. He’s covered the fall of the Wall. Because of that, and his stories about Europe since, people here feel that his grasp of the situation is far superior to that of his colleagues and other journalists who’ve been around for less time.
Thanks Jim, it was, as I said, an honour talking to you. Thanks for asking for my opinion and for talking to me!