chapter  12
Television’s dangerous liaisons
ByMartin Freeth
Pages 10

The scene: a rice paddy field in the Cagayan Valley in the Phillipines. I am trying to set up a filmed interview with Dr Jim Litsinger, a scientist from the International Rice Research Institute. Exceptionally, and uncomfortably for a BBC television producer/ director, I am being observed. The sociologist, Dr Roger Silverstone is quietly collecting the material he will later turn into the book Framing Science: The Making of a BBC Documentary. But he is observing significant interactions and relationships which I do not notice, or which I take for granted. As he sees it: ‘The crew arrives…they bring their equipment, silver cases with cameras, lenses and recorders…. They bring something else: a private, indefinable, encapsulating culture, as powerful as a force field, a way of being based on their confidence as professionals.’