Cameras rolling. You’re now live.
CALLUM: And with us tonight, we have Ali Cornwall, anchor and former West Africa correspondent for BBC London. So, you were recently in Sierra Leone at the height of the Ebola epidemic, is that correct?
YOU: Yes, that’s correct. I visited the main hospital in Makeni where conditions were terrible and supplies were exhausted. The nurses lacked gloves and protective garments. There were hardly enough receptacles for infectious waste. Patients were dying in a most undignified manner. The place and people were regularly sprayed with chlorine, but the bodies were often left on the floor to rot and the people remained uneducated about how the disease is transmitted. There’s much more we could do to spread awareness and aid to this region, Callum, and the current conditions there only serve to drive my point home.
Those are the bare facts. Callum is looking at you expectantly. He’s looking for a narrative frame but all you have are statistics. You list them. An infographic is shown, charting the loss of life and disease vectors through the West African region.
CALLUM: (Pause) Well, good to have you, as always, Ali. Thanks for coming.
He’s flicking his papers with a finger. A decisive tic. He’s wishing you were Giles right now, and it’s too late to change what you’ve done.
YOU: Thanks for having me. It’s an important issue that needs attention right now.
The camera pans you out. You silently excuse yourself and check your phone. @AliCornwall has hundreds of new mentions. As you begin to scroll through, a technician taps you on the shoulder. “Call from your editor Charlie,” he says. “Sounded important.”