The late Walter Cronkite said to me in an interview when I asked him if the media is becoming too powerful: ‘To make democracy function, the media can never be too powerful. The media must have enough power to distribute facts, views and opinions so the people can use their power.’ Television does this better than anything else and best when broadcasting live.One real personal experience of the possibilities was a live transmission from my airplane heading towards the erupting volcano Eyjafjallajökull in 2010. A foreign reporter was sitting beside me, and we and the television spectators all over the world were looking from the backseat at us and through the windshield at the volcano when huge invisible shock waves begin to slam the airplane so it could clearly be heard. The reporter began to shout in terror, because he had never witnessed anything like this, and neither had anybody else in the audience. I remained calm and tried to comfort him by telling him that I have heard, seen and felt similar shock waves in one of the 23 eruptions I‘ve reported over the years. This is an example of television at its brilliant best, because “life is live.” A few days later, after many attempts, I manage to film for the first and only time in history the shock waves between twilight and darkness when they can be seen. This is one of the reasons that I am a pilot and also a reporter. I can be in the air and on the air at the same time.
(For egta, ACT, EBU)