Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sunshine amongst the showers

At last some good news when you click on the Alan Johnston link we've had up on the top right of the blog. What's really good is to hear that Alan had access to a radio and did know about the efforts worldwide to keep him (and other hostages) in the public eye.

I don't suppose there's much mileage to be had in 'Alan Johnston - wefcpug's part in his release' but at least we were there! I've been taken back in flashbacks to the night Terry Waite was confirmed kidnapped. I was working in the old BBC TV newsroom that night and in those pre-internet (and even pre-fax) days the news came over on the internal speaker intercoms. The programme I was working on was 'Telejournal' - not a news programme but we 'borrowed' their facilities to record that night's French or German or Italian news, and intercut their stories with studio pieces to interpret and explain. All done with tape (may even have been 2" - but probably 1" - and certainly analogue) and in a hurry.

Budget cuts in later years meant the programme was cancelled. It's now, thanks to the wonders of digits, internets etc., possible to see (some) foreign language bulletins for yourself (even the domestic digital satellite channels if you know how to tweak a dish and a set-top box) but there's no interpretation, in the broader sense of words and context, available. Such is progress. (PS I'm available for a relaunch).

In the meantime, we rely on the Alan Johnstons of this world to do the work for us.