Interviewing the Interviewers: David Pidgeon

One of the privileges and joys of journalism is meeting and interviewing truly inspirational people.  The new digital age has meant this privilege has now opened up beyond professional journalists, with some of the most thought-provoking interviews now conducted by numerous industry thought leaders in addition to our most respected journalists.

In NDA’s Interviewing the Interviewers series, we caught up with some of the best interviewers in our industry, from journalists to independent content creators, turning the tables to find out what makes them tick.

David Pidgeon is Editor of Mediatel Newsline, focusing on the latest news, opinion and analysis in the media industry.

What is your biggest hope and your biggest fear for the media industry in 2019?

My hope is that iconic and much-needed publishers – both news and magazine brands – can earn a buck and safeguard their business models. My biggest fear is that they won’t, and we’ll be left with a much poorer society and culture as a result.

What was your biggest personal industry highlight of 2018

Securing the three CEOs of ITV, C4 and Sky in a stage interview together. It was the first time all three had done such a thing.

I also like that they choose Mediatel to conduct the interview based on the strength of our audience. We’ve worked had for that over the years and we’re a small business, so it just felt good.

They were on top form too, which helped.

Who was the most inspirational person you interviewed in 2018 and why? 

I’ve interviewed her a few times, but ex-Aviva CMO Jan Gooding was so good we then hired her as a monthly columnist. The reaction from readers has been very good and I feel like we’ve finally completed our regular line-up.

She is very eloquent, wise and funny and she files her copy two weeks ahead of deadline. 

What one technology are you most excited about this year and why?

The more I use internet-based technology, the more I want to lock it away and smear mud on my face and dance in the woods.

I’m becoming very analogue. I’m sad the billboard is dying. I like playing real records. I like board games. I like staring at a shelf of books and the idea you can make your own radio out of bits and bobs.

I’m not a luddite, but I think we need to slow down on the tech and take ten steps backwards to get the existing applications working better.

I also want a phone that lasts a lifetime. I hate this cycle of needless upgrading. Do people understand what rare-earth materials go into these things, or the human cost of having gadgets on tap?  

What was your favourite ad or media experience of 2018?

I love the cinema, and although this particular film was exceptionally awful, I was drunk enough to laugh from start to finish during DCM’s screening of The Meg on moving chairs, complete with wind and rain blasted in the audience’s face.

It was so naff and stupid and brilliant. 

What is the buzzword or phrase you’d like to ban forever?

Brave brands. 

Who’s the one industry figure you’d most like to interview you yet haven’t? 

I’d like to have a seven-hour lunch with Rory Sutherland. 

How could someone persuade you to interview them and what would put you off completely?

Heh. It’s not hard. Just phone me up. But please don’t assume I’m fluent in adtech.

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