Am I imagining this or have I slipped into the role of the 'real' journalist, those ones who complain and create a ruckus for everything that is dished out while taken on a Press trip?
No, I haven't created a ruckus, but what I have seen is a change in the way the media is being treated. Well, earlier we were taken on first class or business class with every detail charted out and followed strictly.
Earlier we were put up in hotels that were in the lap of luxury. Rooms overlooking the London harbour, rooms that spoke volumes in comfort and understated luxury with bathrooms equally big as the rooms. wifi catered too, well you just had to ask and someone would make sure it was done...
Recession now has this burden to bear too - of taking the comforts away from us poor journalists taken on press trips!
This time around, no first class, just economy, but that is fine, no dinner except for the small roll handed on the plane. (I wasn't hungry but the fact that I was without food for a long time, bothered me)
The rooms were fine, not dipped in luxury but very economical and practical! No wifi and when we (me and a fellow journalist, who didn't speak a word or understand English, yet we managed to communicate quite well) ask the hotel authorities, our organiser (a marketing guy) looks away as if this was of no concern to him.(He did eventually pay for it)
All these are fine, really, aren't we supposed to be accommodative when the times are bad, but the thing that most irritated me was the talk from this guy of how privileged we should be to have come here. Ofcourse, I was but to say it so bluntly made it sound downright cheap...
And as we enter the Motor Show, he warns us, don't even look at other cars. We laugh at his seemingly good humour only to discover in a few hours that he was dead serious. We just had to turn and gaze in wonder at a Bentley or gape at an Aston Martin and then he would gesture asking us to hurry for an interview that inevitably got late. And when we talk to a (good looking) Rover guy, he gives me a missed call, standing right in front of me and has the cheek to say, "Hey, I saw u!"
(And silly me, at that instant I felt like a kid caught at a crime!)
When we take interviews he guides or directs us with the questions we ask, to get the right answers about the brand and the group.
And not to mention the questions on coverage even before we start on the trip. Well, others ask too, but isn't there a virtue called subtlety! If there is, then this man surely lacks it!
If Recession has done this to one of the money minting companies then imagine how we should react! Counting our pennies, eating bread every single day and taking our maid on an outing and reminding her of her luck every other moment? Chee!