I neglected to mention this a few days ago! Since that time I’ve run up a partial transcript of both – so if you haven’t checked out these two interviews, they’re now available on the Token Skeptic podcast:
What I found particularly interesting were the slightly different perspectives they had about television when it came to communicating about science and technology; how there’s a number of ‘unseen’ hurdles and challenges when it came to getting pro-science stories out and where their careers have taken them.
Gia Milinovich is an American film blogger and producer; her career in television has involved working on mostly science and technology shows. She produces websites, writes and lives in London.
Gia Milinovich: …Any new technology that comes along, there is a group of people that are going to be terrified about it. Even things like the 1950s, comic books were the end of society. Any kid who read a comic book was going to be a juvenile delinquent, and that’s ridiculous. Or Victorian women. I read Victorian women were told they shouldn’t read novels because they were emotionally immature and they wouldn’t be able to deal with the emotions in novels and things like that. It’s not a new thing. The problem is those kinds of stories sell newspapers. You do get people, I have had people in real life say to me, “Well, I don’t like Facebook,” I just say, “OK, well, don’t go on it.” Just don’t go on it! It’s not actually a problem! It’s just people, you know? The problems, the bad things that might happen happen in the real world, they’re real world things. There’s no difference.
The problem is with society or with people, it’s not with the technology. The best way of talking about that is just being loud. The problem with the media is they want to sell papers, they want to get viewers. People tend to gravitate towards sensationalist things. If you’re not sensationalist, then unfortunately it is less likely that you’re going to get heard. But you just have to keep plugging away, I suppose.
Kylie Sturgess: Have you seen things change from your early days in presenting on technology to now? Did you find yourself adopting the role of educating the public as well as informing them, in regards to how to see technology?
Gia: On my very, very first presenting job, which was a‑‑it was a teenage entertainment program, so not technology at all. I remember being interviewed by the marketing development of the channel or something. They asked me about why I wanted to be a presenter. This must have seemed so pretentious at the time, but it’s what I thought then and it’s still what I think. I’ve always seen it as – it’s not about me, it’s about the information. Therefore it’s more like being a teacher than being a pop star or something. But I’ve always seen it as that kind of role – which isn’t necessarily how it’s seen within TV, if you know what I mean.
For me, it’s always been about the information, whatever that information is. It could depend… That show that I was doing was for teenagers, for example: it was information about the music that they loved or the films that they loved. And it’s the same thing when I do technology things.