Monday, November 08, 2010

girl, interrupted from her fanaticism

No, I haven't abandoned this blog (yet). It's just that with the advent of Hala's activity on social networks (on Facebook and Twitter), the fun, speculative point of this blog (what the hell she could be thinking, why she disappears from programming) is pretty much a moot point. And since she's the dedicated anchor to the International Desk (airs daily, 1900CET), it's no longer a matter of looking for her, as it used to be when she was just one of the many anchors for the weekend news. The fun part, the guessing part, has been taken away.

Plus I think CNN's building her up to be one of their more important (read: visible) anchors, so... yeah.

So, yes, unless something dire happens, or Hala and Richard exchange outstandingly quippy comments with each other, I probably won't be updating. I won't delete the blog, though, because you never know.

In the meantime, there's always Linking to Hala and the fan forum.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

on the bright side, we got to see her iPhone

First of all, I suppose if you read this, then you've already come across this. Congratulations, I guess?

Moving on.

I am a fan of the internet (clearly). I like the anonymity of it (i.e., that I can type this, and people still think my name is Tiff), I like the vastness of it, I like that I can watch the Care Bears movie in its entirety in so many parts on YouTube.

Then, of course, there is the fallout of said anonymity, which is that people can spew vitriol and be mean and not reveal anything about themselves.

This reaction stems from Hala's directive on her Twitter feed to "read the comments" on an interview she conducted.

Here's the interview:

Now, before you go and read the comments on the link Hala provided, trust me: When Hala says "Wow", she frakking means it.

(But that headline: "Atheist calls for Pope's Arrest" is not helping. At all. It's a tad too sensationalist to be in good taste.)

Someone once said that an important element of journalism is that you can't be good at it unless you're willing to take criticism. I suppose that's generally true, but it's generally easier to accept criticism from people you respect, people who are in the position to have an opinion.

Yes, I have my opinions on how the people on CNN (and yes, Hala) present the news, and it's not always positive. But I keep those opinions to myself because, haha, what do I know about broadcasting and journalism? Trust me, this shallow discourse is better for all of us.

And, yes, I know Hala has to hone some more her interview skills, because this is not the first time that her interviewing has spawned this kind of commentary. Yes, I admit I've often found funny how she's handled some interviews in the past, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who's seen how some interviews she's conducted seem to end abruptly.

Besides, being an interviewer is hard. You have to control the conversation, but still ensure that the interviewee keeps on talking to get to the answers you know you need. Plus the trouble of ensuring that the answer you want to get to is the core of what the interviewee is really saying, and not what you as the interviewer want to hear.

But I understand what she was trying to accomplish here, which is a tried and true interviewing tactic: if the answers seem vague, or there seems to be a bigger picture, ask and re-ask, to try to get to the core of the thesis statement. The problem with the news cycle is that everyone is relegated to trying to get a soundbite, and in a 3-5 minute interview, that's just asking for trouble.