Monday, August 18, 2008



I first saw this posting by Christina (The Unofficial Hala Gorani Website) back in October 2005 at another site of hers.

The translation is by Alexander,"The Greek Dude". With his permission, I am reposting it here. Thanks so much, Alexander!

CNN's based in London reporter and presenter of 'CNN Today' spent some days in Athens and was exclusively interviewed by "TV Guide"

Q: Is this the first time you visit Greece?
H: No, I visit Greece every year. However, I don't stay in Athens, I prefer going straight to Myconos.

Q: Have you noticed any differences since your last visit here?
H: I should say I haven't walked around the city yet. What I noticed, though is that it took me much less time comparing to my other visits to come down-town from the airport. It took us only 30 minutes when in the previous years that was at least 1 1/2 hours. I suppose your government has improved the traffic system because of the Olympics. I think it's an important improvement. The image of Athens I had was that of a noisy city with a lot of traffic jam. Moving around wasn't the easiest thing to do!

Q: Will you come back for the Olympics?
H: No, however, a team of12 people will cover the event. And they'll stay in your city more than five weeks, that Games last. As for me, I'll be back for my annual vacations in Myconos.

Q: What is your opinion about Greek media?
H: To be honest, it's all Greek to me! It's only the picture I get. Today morning, I watched a cooking show. As you may understand, I had only a visual contact.

Q: After 10 years doing journalism, what's this that can still fascinate you?
H: Telling stories. I like revealing them, being a part of them and afterwards I try my best to narrate them the best way I can.

Q: How easy or difficult is it for a woman to be a journalist?
H: Certainly it's not as it was 10 or 20 years ago. It's considered though easier for a man. At times women -even today- have to prove their value. Of course the biggest part of this route has been covered, but still we need some time before we tell we've reached equality.

Q: Which are the most significant landmarks in your career?
H: I’m proud about a series of issues I've covered around the Middle East. And most of all about an assignment in Cairo. I presented a story about some Sudan refugees. And as I previously told you that's the part of the job that fascinates me the most. I remember it was a 7-minute long story, which translated into airtime it was like a century!

Q: Which are the pros and cons of being a TV journalist?
H: the biggest advantage is the adrenaline and the immediacy, or to tell it differently, I love anchoring live. The image is also a very important factor, a real challenge because you've got to learn how to use it in order to achieve a good result on screen. It's a process that takes time to be learned. The basic disadvantage is the airtime, meaning you never have enough time to stay on a story as long as you need to get the insight.

Q: In Greece TV journalists are sometimes considered as stars. Does this happen in you case?
H: Since you're on TV that's inevitable! In our case though it's not exactly like that. In Greece journalists are considered stars because they have a big audience. We do have a big audience but not concentrated in one country.

Q: Regarding you CV, I noticed that your studies have nothing to do with journalism. How did you go into Media?
H: I studied Economics and Political Studies. I took the decision to start journalism very consciously. I've always wanted to become a journalist but I considered better to study something else so to specialize on something. Besides, I believe that Journalism is learned in the field and not in a university.

Q: Wasn't it difficult for you?
H: Only at the beginning when, being unskilled I was looking for a job. Soon, they found out I can write, which thankfully didn't take more than a few months and then it didn't matter if I'd studied journalism or not. Especially today -after 10 years in the job- it doesn't matter what I've studied.

Q: Really, which do you consider the biggest problem on the planet at the moment?
H: The wars we're living and that will continue to live for the next years to come. I also consider a very important problem and maybe the most important the environmental pollution and the greenhouse effect.

Q: Today Europe goes to polls. In your opinion which is the most important problem on the Continent?
H: I think it’s very important that Europeans go to polls being fully informed and without paying the necessary attention. Something we can also understand by citizens’ participation. However, expansion problems have just begun. I’m referring to the economical convention issue and not only that. Problems that will take decades to be solved.

Q: Previously, motivated by the war in Iraq, you traveled to Jordan. Tell us about your experience there.
H: Our job was to take people’s reaction on the war talking place in their neighborhood. But we didn’t stay only in Jordan. We also went to Egypt, where we also stayed for a long period. Our goal was to find out Arab world’s reaction, and I think that’s exactly what we did.

Q: Do you believe that a journalist covering a war has to take sides?
H: The journalist has to be objective and just to tell the stories.

Q: Have you ever been censored?
H: No. I choose stories I can tell 100%

Q: What does censorship mean to you?
H: There are different levels. Of course absolute censorship prospers in dictatory regimes.

1 comment:

Thot said...

I think it's just great that you try to keep a Hala database and everything that is related to her. Great work Houston. Keep coming.