"Whether it is politics, economics, sports or culture: I´m your man.” As UK Correspondent Ali May covers all the news from the UK for the international newschannel “euronews”. What he would do if he could meet his 14-year old-self? “I would slap him in the face and tell him: Life is short! Go get it! Go have fun!"
Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!
You know what I would do? I would slap him in the face and tell him life is short, go get it. Go have fun. That is actually the advice that I would give you and myself and anybody else.
Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?
Ali May, UK correspondent, Euronews
Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?
The coolest part about my job is the fact that every day I am meeting people from really different backgrounds and they are telling me stories which are non similar to others. One day you know you are talking to the British Prime Minister at the Queens Jubilee, another day you are speaking to an artist from Lebanon about his sculpture. One day you are in a stunner and you are talking to the former Italian Prime Minister about the World Economic Crisis. So I really like the fact that I am meeting lots and lots of new people with lots and lots of interesting stories.
Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?
So you should understand that when you are doing a correspondence job you don’t really have hours, office hours are 24/7, 365 or 366 or 367 days a year. So for me it is not a problem but you need to know about it. You might find it challenging that you have to all the time be on the lookout for new people and pick up the phone, talk to people, try and get their trust and get interviews. That’s quite challenging how I really like that. So you might be in a position to say yes I like going after people and talking to them but the, probably the worst part of it is sometimes you are working with people who are organizing interviews for other people and they are utterly and completely incompetent.
Worum geht es in Deinem Job?
Well Euronews is the most watched international news channel in Europe. We broadcast globally in 12 languages and I think it is a very interesting platform because we are providing news to people in their own languages across the world in their regions. As the UK correspondent what I do I basically cover all the news from the UK whether it is politics or economy or sports or culture, so I am your man. My day starts with the morning briefing. Now the briefing can come in different forms, can be a phone call to the news desk or an email with the important stories of the day then we decide based on merits and not just merits of that story in particular in the UK but also its importance and it’s priority within the scale of the world news because we have to look at the Philippines and we have to look at the US and we have to look at Iran, everywhere. So based on what’s on the news agenda we chose whether that story merits to become a report and then after that I have to look after the production. It is normally a two person team. So I am the producer journalist presenter and I have a technical man or woman who films edits and takes care of lighting and all that. So basically when we on the ground I am finding the interviewees and I am asking the questions and I am doing the to camera whereas my operator does the filming. When we are at the studio again it is team work because I sit by them and I tell them okay I want these chats and then they cut the video and then they take care of the color correction and the sounds. Well you know when it comes to interviews I think there are many different methods and for instance you have in the UK and Germany is very aggressive and he just starts with punching the interviewer in the face. But I think I should turn more in the soft side, I prefer to starting to softer questions and then getting what I need by basically having a conversation, having a chat. Because I remember after I interviewed ... a friend of mine asked me of Facebook that, “Hey, how does it feel to be with celebrities and talking to them?” I say, “Look I don’t treat them as celebrities, I treat them as people.” And I think that is my secret because whoever it is I just sit down with them and I have a conversation like I would with my brother or with my friend. So I think that is really is the essence of doing a good interview.
Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?
I was born in a tiny insignificant ugly town in Northwest Iran and I was raised there, I went to school there then came the time of university and I moved to Tehran the capital and studied English Literature which I absolutely loved so I suppose that was the time that I was making my decision which direction I am going to take and fortunately I made the right decision going for my passion and not studying engineering or business which I was tempted at the time to be honest with you. So after that I, I worked in Iran for a while and in different jobs from teaching English to importing trucks from Japan to all kinds of odd jobs. And then again came the time that you start thinking, am I in the right place? Am I doing the right thing for me? And I realized no I wasn’t. so I moved to the UK and studied masters in creative writing. So the continuation of what I was doing in Iran at the university and after that it all went towards journalism because I started writing a blog for The Independent, a British newspaper and I moved to Bloomberg News where I covered Iranian politics and economy for them. And then here I am at Euronews covering the news of the UK.
Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?
Yes you can. To be a journalist you don’t need to necessarily study journalism. You need to know the basics, you need to know a little bit about the media law you need to read about what is good journalism because of course you cannot, you need to know the line between opinion and news because many people confuse that. But you can study engineering and become a reporter. You can study medicine and become a reporter; you can study art and become a journalist. So it does not necessarily stop you from becoming a journalist, what you have studied at the university.