By Sophie Monks Kaufman
I’m at the Guardian headquarters in King’s Cross waiting to interview data journalist and former WikiLeaks employee, James Ball. Once he appears, I’ll have half an hour to interview him. This is to take place across a range of platforms as part of XCity’s mission to provide a solid multimedia presence. For me this is a brave new world. I am armed with a mass of equipment: a Dictaphone, a digital camera, a flip camera and tripod.
Earlier, I took the precaution of spending 20 minutes with Dave, the technician who hangs out in a room beside the City journalism department. We had a trial run in which I practised erecting the tripod and attaching the camera to it. Dave gave me advice like:
1. Stand to the side of the camera and ask James to look at me.
2. Make sure there is something interesting in his background.
Despite the tutorial, my mind is plagued by images of knocking James out with a careless swing of the tripod.
But lady luck looked after me…
James answered all questions with gusto and goodwill; I got a background courtesy of the canal behind the Guardian canteen (the film of scum and Tesco bags were invisible from our lofty position) and, most importantly, the tripod kept a respectful distance from the XCity Award nominee. A good day at the office in my view, but you can judge for yourself as…
…James Ball talks about his interview blunder with a big shot from The Times, the significance of WikiLeaks and the likelihood of a national newspaper going under.