Monday, January 26, 2004

I've come to realise that the relationship between producer and correspondent is rather like the bond between a faithful dog and its owner (although I'll leave you to decide which is the dog and which the owner.)

A radio producing colleague returned from Iowa late last week to find me working away happily with Justin Webb -- "her" correspondent, as she put it. The experience, she said, was rather like coming home early to find your husband in bed with someone else.

I knew exactly what she meant because she'd been working in Iowa with someone I regard as "my" correspondent.

Once you've worked with a correspondent for a while you get to know their little quirks and foibles....when to stand back and let them stamp their feet and when to upbraid them like the spoilt children they so often are.

Sometimes, the process leaves you with a deep loathing for the person you spend your working life trying to get and keep on air. When it works, though, it leads to a strong friendship born out of shared experiences under extreme stress -- rather like a perverse media marriage of sorts.

We proposed a Reality TV-style "Correspondent Swap" -- she could have my reporter and I'd have hers.


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