World Media Calling

Thursday 17 March 2011, 7:33AM


A tweet from broadcasting student Cameron Betts sparked interviews with major American networks.

First year Broadcasting School student Cameron Betts has been busy since the earthquake, fielding calls from world media and then organising a major fundraising concert.

“After the earthquake, being the broadcasting student that I am, I thought I would get the story to the world media,” Cameron said. One tweet later, and sure enough major American network NBC was asking for Cameron’s contact number.

The only catch was that the subsequent interview took place at 4am. Despite tiredness, Cameron was satisfied that he had adequately explained what he had experienced, even if that meant admitting he was in the loo when the quake struck.

CNN and Fox News contacted him as well. “It was pretty cool,” Cameron admitted. “I made some really good contacts and in America I have an open invitation to tour the NBC studio and the same in Hong Kong for CNN. It was weird thinking that my voice, my story was broadcast to millions, and I mean millions, of Americans.”

A student of digital film and television production, Cameron’s first instinct was also to grab his camera. His resulting images were broadcast to American TV audiences to accompany his interviews.

Unable to access his inner-city apartment, Cameron spent the night of the quake in Ashburton and flew home to New Plymouth the next day where he and a friend wondered what they could do next to help.

Taranaki4Canterbury was the answer. As far as fundraising concerts go, it’s big. Headlined by Anika Moa and Opshop, featuring Canterbury musicians The Dukes and The Eastern, the event’s organisers hope to draw 15,000 people and raise $250,000 for the NZ Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Appeal.

The event is on 25 March at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands and Cameron is working hard to get the word out. And then next month he is looking forward to getting back into his studies.