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Request from The Times newspaper, London

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Request from The Times newspaper, London

Old 20th Aug 2002, 13:32
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Question Request from The Times newspaper, London


The Times newspaper (London) is looking to speak anonymously to pilots of transatlantic passenger aircraft, about their year since the terrorist attacks of Sept 11.

The piece we are proposing would feature in our supplement commemorating the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, and we guarantee complete anonymity for pilot that speaks to or writes a piece for us. We can also guarantee copy approval (ie you can check it before it goes to print), so that you can be sure that you will not be personally identifiable from the text.

What we are looking for is a simple account of your fears, hopes and experiences of the past year; where you were and what you thought when you first heard of the attacks; how you've felt when flying and how the atmosphere has changed amongst crew and passengers. You might also wish to say what you think could still be done to guarantee safety for passengers and crew. The subject matter, though, is pretty much up to you - we just want a personal reflection.

If you don't want to write it for us we'd be happy to ghost-write it with you. We're looking for about 1000 words ideally, and the piece would sit alongside similar accounts from some high-profile people involved in the post-9/11 crisis.

Please do get in touch if you feel you would like to talk to us. Again, we promise complete anonymity and have no hidden agenda - the piece would stand alone as just the reflections of a pilot during this difficult year.

Many thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Stephen Collins
The Times

Tel +44 (0) 207 782 5729
Fax +44 (0) 207 782 5203
Email [email protected]
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 14:12
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Will the article be as badly researched as the one the Times wrote on the most jinxed jet in Britain a few months ago. Are you the same fine author?
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 14:21
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Give them a break, flex.

You can hardly go into PPRuNe journo-bashing mode when the writer is trying to get a piece directly from a pilot's point of view, and comes to the best-known pilots' website to get it!

You could at least wait until the piece has been written before you complain about it.
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 14:34
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The Ottowa Citizen asked nicely first:

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Old 20th Aug 2002, 16:19
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Why not approach a company with your request and make it above board. I'm sure that some would try find someone to do if for you.
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 16:33
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I'm sure Mr Collins would approach a company and make it "above board" if he felt he'd get an honest answer that wasn't geared to making the company look good.

Honestly, here's a reporter trying to do exactly what some of you whinge about the media NOT doing -- ie, talking directly and frankly to guys in the driving seat -- without the company spin, and even offering the less-literate among you a free hand in putting your thoughts down on paper, with no risk of personal backlash, and the first thing that happens is that he gets spat upon. Professional? Give me strength.
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 17:11
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As KC says, most reporters do go through the airline press offices in the first instance. Problem is, press officers won't always agree to putting staff up for interview. What is more, no pilot or cabin crew member is going to talk on the record about issues which may annoy their employers.

The purpose of this interview request is to get guidance and understanding of the issues without putting pressure on staff by naming them. Leave the on-the-record stuff to industry representatives.

This represents a good opportunity, and is good for PPRuNE and PPruNers. Ignore it if you wish, but don't knock it.
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 18:07
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Thumbs up

I have already spoken with Mr Collins and offered an article without any anonymity. No need for the usual fretting over the fact that a journalist has stepped into the lions den. Hopefully we will get an article that reflects the myriad of changes that have affected us in our jobs, during and since the murderous attacks last year and the often ridiculous knee jerk reactions by some authorities.

The feelings and hopes we have will be varied and if this article is written sensibly it will reflect the majority view, I hope. Our jobs have changed dramtically since September 11th 2001 and it is time that our point of view gets an airing.
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Old 20th Aug 2002, 19:41
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Elsewhere, in the same forum, the topic: "The BAA, scissors and nail clippers" gives a fine example of how the politicos have managed to place their heads up their own fundaments... this quote is from Max Angle
You can't take nail clippers on board but you can buy a glass bottle of duty free and take that. We give the pax. plastic knives and forks and then give them a glass to drink out of. A pilot who spends 12 hours locked in the flightdeck in charge of 300 tons of aircraft and 250 pax. is then not allowed to sit on the jumpseat on one of his own companies jets to get him home after the duty. I can't take my leatherman airside but an engineer who I meet on the aircraft can.
I have also pointed out that Club and First encourage PAX to bring their laptops on board and work, even providing power points in the seat. Some of the larger Dell and Compaq 'laptops' way close to 4 Kg. Swing that at cabin crew and they will notice.

We cannot protect 100% but we have now gone to pathetic ends to appear as if we are.

Last edited by PAXboy; 20th Aug 2002 at 19:56.
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