It’s been a very busy couple of days in Mexico City. There’s two vital things you have to get right on a WHYS show, firstly the audience and secondly the technicals. Without them you don’t have much of a show. In the past 48 hours myself and Alicia have been trying to sort out everything.
Yesterday we invited many of the guests we’re speaking to on Monday down to a bar, not only was it great to meet them but it’s important to get a feel for what they want to discuss. I think it’s fair to say most of them are angry at the country’s corruption, they feel America has a role to play in this surge in violence but mostly they’re disappointed the Mexican government has allowed the country get to this point.
One guest told me there’s a saying in Mexico , if you’re not corrupt you don’t grow. How does a country go about tackling this when it becomes so engrained into the culture?
Today we spent most of the day trying to get our satellite phone to work from the venue. Sat phones are great pieces of kit, in the past they’ve allowed WHYS to broadcast from villages in Ghana to cafes in Turkey but they can be temperamental. Most BBC Radio News staff have a story to tell about the lengths they’ve gone to get a signal.
Today I had our sat phone on balconies, roofs, on the bonnet of a jeep and in a car park – nothing would work. The trees around our venue just wouldn’t allow us to get a clear line of sight to the satellite. Many times during the day I thought we’d have to find a new venue.
Luckily the building’s neighbours have a big roof that overlooks the trees and has allowed us access to his roof terrace so we can broadcast. You can’t help but be taken back by hospitality like that, the owner of the house is even coming back from work earlier to give us access to the roof. What a hero, he solved all our problems in one.
Tomorrow the rest of the team arrive, I’m looking forward to Monday’s show already.