Panorama, Scientology and Media Training

John Sweeney’s extraordinary contribution to the Scientology debate was strangely fascinating to watch. Animal passion was the term that came to mind – or perhaps just animal frustration.

Unfortunately the knock on effect for those of us in the media training business may not be so positive. I like to work with charities and NGOs. It’s rewarding work as I meet so many dedicated and clever people.

At an exhibition for the voluntary section last year I met a lot of people who think that all journalists are rude and bullying, and would prefer not to have anything to do with them.

I find it frustrating that my training often has to start with lots of reassurance to sometimes nervous trainees that they are very unlikely to be trapped, shouted at or in any way Paxmanned.

My view is that media training is about focusing on the message and getting plenty of interview practice. After all, a 2’30" interview is hardly a normal situation. Practice helps you retain your passion for your subject while addressing the subject in question in an unnaturally short period of time. (And I agree with a lot of what Julian Henry wrote recently.)

I suppose John Sweeney has at least provided something to break the ice at the beginning of a training session. Having a good laugh about his outburst might just put trainees at their ease.

Posted on 18 May 2007

  1. Tony said:

    Rather than laughing at John Sweeney, why don’t you take all your student’s to the Scientology shop in Tottenham Court road and all take a free personality test. I guarantee it is an experience you will remember and not want to repeat.

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