Last year at the Nottinghamshire Pride Parade me and Kate were interviewed by Notts TV and I remember thinking afterwards that I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t say anything useful or get any good points across. I hadn’t even thought about speaking to the media, let alone prepare any messages that I wanted people to hear. However Kate came up with a cracking phrase; “We’re here to put the B back in the LGBT.”
This year I was a little bit more prepared. With help from Jennifer I made a large sign to carry, and this was a big pull for reporters and those with cameras whilst I was stood waiting for BiTopia members to join me for the parade. I was photographed a lot and interviewed by a reporter from the Notts Post. The same man from Notts TV in the photo above also stopped to speak to me and another group member. I was able to speak a bit more eloquently this time and convey some messages and facts.
The thing that disappoints and frustrates me every time I’ve been filmed at Pride is that it never seems to actually get shown! (I use the word seem here because it is possible its been shown or put up somewhere I’ve not found.) I suppose the media are looking at any event from a certain angle in order to make a story out of it. For example one question I was asked by Notts TV this year was what I thought about the council’s decision to cut funding for Pride. So with their story already planned, they are hardly looking to include anything from a small local bi or LGBT group.
Journalists collect a lot of footage and interview a lot of people, but only have a very short slot to fill on screen so I know most of what’s been recorded will never be shown anywhere. However in the age of the Internet it’s disappointing that a local TV station can’t put a bit more online than two short clips of the secretary for Pride and the actor who plays the official Robin Hood! What gets me even more is that the title for this page is “Pride event highlights Nottingham’s diversity”!
I suppose we can only keep trying, and if we give interviews we are at least making one or two journalists aware of bi issues. Who knows, maybe you can get their email addresses and contact them for Bi Visibility Day or BiCon or something?
Tips for Being Interviewed at Pride
- You can give a reporter a fake name if you don’t want to give your own, but think up one in advance so you don’t hesitate when you’re asked who you are!
- You don’t have to tell them what you do for a living. Just say you’d rather not share that information with them if you don’t want to.
- Only be on camera if you want to be. Don’t let anyone pressure you into speaking with them or getting a few shots of you if you are not comfortable with it. You never know who might end up seeing you on TV/the Internet.
- See if there are any news stories relating to Pride/LGBT+ issues in your area in case you get asked your opinion on them.
- Think of a few sentences to say with regards to who you are, why you are taking part in the parade, why you think Pride is important, and your bi group if you run one or are a member of one.
- Being on camera is nerve-racking and scary. It makes you forget everything you wanted to say and your voice goes all wibbly wobbly! Practising your sentences out loud the day before helps combat this.
- Ask reporters for their business card in case you want to contact them again in the future.
- If you are involved with a local group, print or write down the group’s contact details so you can hand them out to anyone who interviews you.
- Tell reporters you’d love to receive an email from them if your footage makes the final cut/photos of you are used. (Though to be honest, they probably won’t contact you even if they do.)
- Don’t be afraid to ask any technical questions such as whether to look straight into the camera or at the reporter, or whether you in standing in the right light etc. They should be able to work with you to get the best results. You won’t look foolish, as they are used to working with the general public so don’t expect people to know these things already.
If you have any other advice please share in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.