After an interview about pro-life topics on a secular radio station years ago, the host of the radio show asked if I would stay and field phone calls on the air? That was a new experience. Looking back, I am grateful to have had the opportunity. I vividly remember that callers to the station promptly informed me that since I am a man I had no right to talk about women's issues. Okay then. Nice chatting with you.
Being interviewed by fellow believers at Catholic radio stations usually makes the environment a little less contentious. I am especially grateful when the topics are all set out before the interview takes place. This allows for adequate preparation and we are all able to do our best to build the Kingdom of God.
Television stations are notorious for editing out major components of the interview. I understand a newscast is only 30 minutes (including commercial time). However, if you are not going to air the question that was actually asked of me, but instead create a new question by the anchor to make my response look stupid, we are probably done in regard to granting future interviews. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, we aren't doing this again.
My experience with newspapers is a little better. I am appreciative when reporters actually quote what I said and keep it in the context of which it was said. Thank you to the reporters who do your job well.
Let's do a little role play at this time. As churches are allowed to open up again, let's pretend that a few individuals representing various forms of the media are standing in the parking lot getting reactions from people as they prepare to see the inside of their church building for the first time in months. As you get out of your car, several of these members of the media approach you with cameras rolling and microphones placed in front of you. You are feeling emotional about coming back to church after all of these weeks and now you have this additional aspect with the media. You are asked one question (listed below). How do you think you would respond?
What are the greatest challenges confronting the Church today?