“We have given contributors the drug of FaceTime”, wrote Jeremy Vine producer Tim Johns on Twitter recently. “How do we wean them off it and get them back in the studio?” As a radio producer he is in no doubt – nothing beats the quality, the warmth and the ‘personal’ of being face to face in a studio. And for you as an interviewee? Well the obvious (and for most, over-riding) factor is time. A 3 hour round-trip to do an in-person interview is now a 15 minute interruption without leaving your desk.
Don’t downplay the negatives though – half the responsibility for the kit working is yours, there’s the unpredictability of wifi signals, Amazon deliveries and toddler tantrums, plus Twitter loves nothing more than the forensic analysis of a messy bookshelf or long-forgotten but highly inappropriate birthday card from a friend.
My take, for what it’s worth, is not to turn your back on offering to go into a studio. You’re less likely to be dropped, you usually get more air-time, and – if nothing else – newsrooms and studios are always pretty interesting places to spend an hour. (It’s amazing the gossip you pick up).
Facetime, Skype and Zoom aren’t going away, and that’s unquestionably a good thing. However let’s not close the door entirely on sitting across the table from the person actually asking you the questions.