|Pict: Renton, Mary and Camerman Chas|
For the last few years I’ve struggled with how I should portray myself on TV. Clearly I’m blind and it is hard to hide that fact and nor do I want to, but...do I continue to appear in my Reports to camera with Renton?
When I had Moss I tried different approaches. Sometimes I would put him on film when I worked on a piece to Camera. On other occasions the dog would not be in view and it would just be me doing the interviewing. As Moss moved towards retirement, I stopped putting him in at all, as I believed it distracted from the story.
Now that I’ve got Renton, I’ve started including him in each of my films. In fact, he is in them quite a bit. And people always comment on the programmes...not for the content..but for RENTON! I’m concerned that people are more interested in looking at Renton staring at seagulls when I’m talking to the camera, than focusing on what the issue is I’m reporting on.
|Pict;graphic Ying and Yang|
Is he distraction or attraction?
Renton is a very important part of my life, but he isn’t what defines me as me. Fundamentally he is a form of mobility. He’s not an extension of my personality. Nor is he some kind of co-presenter.
But..he is so handsome and full of life and maybe I should just accept that I have an unusual selling point, compared to all the other middle aged BBC Reporters(did I really say that?). Like it or not, viewers remember me because I have Renton. is that important?
So, the question is, do I put Renton infront of the camera?
I don’t have an answer. I’m not wanting to hear from you dog lovers saying, “of course you do, because he’s lovely.” that might be true, but what I’m asking is fairly fundamental in how disabled people are portrayed on Television.
It’s vital that disabled reporters are seen as any other journalist not just some guy on the TV with a big dog. Is Renton in or Out?
I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts.