▶ First-time Interviews by a Media Organisation
If this is the first time you have interviewed me, you will have to fill in a quick form with an idea of what you wish to interview me about. It’s probably best if it is on a topic I can speak to the public about, am professionally or academically involved in, or that I blog a lot about. Everyone has their own 2p about all kinds of things, but it’s probably best if the audience gets an informed opinion!
You can book me for all interviews, including email or face-to-face interviews. Separate arrangements (but not separate authorisation) from me for a live audio or video interview is sometimes needed, just so I know where to go to. The interview can be one-off, part of a series, or a special.
Occasional media ID checks do happen, just to make sure you are legitimate (and that you indeed are you!), so always carry some form of media ID with you if meeting me for a one-to-one interview. This can take the form of your business card, or media ID or letter from your media organisation. (You might be exempted from this requirement if you hold a verified account on Twitter, Facebook, or Weibo.)
▶ Subsequent Interviews by a Media Organisation
I often keep a list of all interviews done by an organisation (and the name of the interviewer himself / herself) in the past 10 years. If you’ve interviewed me since then, or we otherwise know each other, you can simply email me. If you’re not sure what address I use, just go to the email page and go ahead with an email (by webform).
You will, generally speaking, be released from the identity check requirement.
▶ Of Red Cards and Yellow Cards
There is no content control or inspection done by me at all, but to encourage a more responsible media environment, I encourage you to check up on all facts and present the audience a real (not necessarily overwhelming positive or negative) picture of what is at stake.
If your mistake is substantial but not critical, I will either warn you or, for more serious cases, give you a “yellow card” warning, just like in football. Generally, you can accumulate a maximum of 3 of these within a 2-year period. Your last flagged warning automatically expires 2 years after it is handed to you.
If your mistake is critical and threatening, you will be given a “red card” warning and could be denied an interview for 2-5 years, or for very serious situations, for a longer or permanent period. You will also get a “red card” warning if you accumulate a 4th “yellow card”.
For example: “Ghost” interviews are generally seen as (at least) a “yellow flag” incident; if it involves completely faked / scandalous content, it is likely to end up as a “red flag” incident.
▶ Public Events
These include pre-announced public events and all press conferences.
Interviews at live events I have pre-announced my participation in do not need to undergo any particular formalities, except for rare exceptions. These events usually operate on a “turn up and go” basis. Just have your questions, microphone, and / or camera ready when I’m ready.
Outside of these public events, usual common sense regarding privacy applies — while I support the media, in general, in their work, I’d rather we had an appointment first for an interview.
▶ Live Audio / Video Appearances
You need to state clearly in the interview form if you would like me to appear live on audio / video (radio, TV, etc). This is because I sometimes am on the go. As I tend to travel around by public transit, I could be in an area with poor reception, and a call “out of the blue” could be answered precisely when I’m in a place with very poor signals. Your early planning will ensure I am “ready to go” at the right time with a fully working signal, or that I arrive at the right time at the right place.
Think I’m a perfect co-host or special guest for your programme? I’d love to get in touch with you. Just use either the regular interview form, or a regular email form. I will attend to this matter as soon as possible.
To ensure content delivered is as high-quality and informed as possible, I would rather you picked a topic you know I am familiar in. (I’m probably not so great in, say, the latest fashion trends amongst China’s younger urban population, but I am quite familiar with, for example, their media use habits or how their cultural surroundings are different from that in the UK.)
▶ Email me