Cubing receives more and more attention from the media which in my opinion is a good development. Many of you have seen or taken part in radio interviews, newspaper articles and TV appearances.
I think we can all agree that the purpose of any of those is (from the cubers' perspective) to show how cool/interesting/awesome cubing is. Sadly lots of media appereances fail to do this.
I don't claim to be good at this stuff at all, I just like to share my experiences and hope you can share yours so we can come up with some good strategies to make any media appearance a success (or at least not a total fail).
Here is a list of the most common types of media-failes that I have experienced myself or saw somewhere else. Of course mixtures of these are more realistic.
The too serious interview
Probably the most common one. The reporters goal is to make an article that people like to read and be entertained by. The same goes for TV stuff of course. Reporter asks something, the cuber replies in the best way he thinks is possible. The cuber starts explaining algorithms and stuff, the reporter does not understand anything of it, the audience for which the interview is ment will never get what the cuber is trying to say.
Result: audience is puzzled, not convinced that cubing is fun and for everyone, they were not entertained...
The cuber being interviewed in this case is already tired of people not understanding his answers which clearly can be found back in the way he answers:
Reporter: 'so how do you approach a cube that's not solved yet?'
Cuber: 'I just twist it and hope it'll get solved somehow' / 'I got a computer in my head' / 'I learned all cases, you wouldn't understand it'.
Reporter: 'can you give us some tips on how to solve it yourself?'
Cuber: 'centers don't move'
This is maybe a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea. The cuber is trying to be quasi-funny, maybe some cubers with laugh at it, but the audience surely isn't.
Result: everyone is annoyed.
The genius/nerd interview
The reporter asks the cuber questions about numbers and results:
Reporter: 'what have you all achieved?'
Cuber: 'meh 4 times world champion, and about 10 WR's'
Reporter: 'wow this kid must be a genius, how many hours do you have to practice a day??'
Cuber: 'about 4 a day'
Reporter: 'are you really good at math or what??'
Cuber: 'I kinda am really, but it doesn't have to do much with cubing'
Reporter: 'ya right, so how do you solve a cube, do you learn many formulas?'
Cuber: 'there are 42 quintillion possibilities, which is too many so I learned about 75 and use the Fridrich method' (trying to impress the reporter)
Reporter: 'that sounds like a lot! Explain this method please?'
Cuber: 'you make a cross, then pair up corners and edges after which you solve them, orient the last layer and then just do a PLL'
Reporter: 'errr.... right, ladies and gentleman cubing is probably not something for the average joe'
A good interview is mostly good/motivating people to start cubing/entertaining when there is a good balances of humor/information/coolness. It's not about getting the fastest time on TV or impressing people with your knowledge.
Being informative does not mean you have to explain the ins and outs of the fridrich method or explain the difference between world champion and world record holder, but give the right bits of info that people are interested in. As far as humor and coolness goes, I'm not sure about this, but it's best to trie to act as normal as possible: don't wear witty shirts with 'I solved it in 10 sec and you?' on it for example.
Reporter: 'how do you solve a cube?'
Example better answer (at least better than the fails described above):
Cuber: 'you kinda solve it layer by layer, you can find tutorials on the internet on how to do it so everyone can learn how to solve a cube. Figuring out how to solve one on your own is really hard and not many people in our community have done that.'
You can argue about wheter or not the cuber has given too little information on how to solve it itself, but this probably depends on the audience and the goal of the interview.
Reporter: 'do you need to be good at math?'
Example bad answer: 'there is the group theory, fewest moves calculations, algorithms blablabla'
Example better answer: 'no not at all, it's more important to have motivation and don't give up when learning how to solve a cube. A bit of spacial thinking doesn't hurt though, after all it's not called a puzzle for no reason'.
Your ideas to frequently asked cubing questions:
Reporter: 'I used to peel stickers'
Example bad answer: 'n00b' / 'oh god not this again'
Example good answer: 'sure is a big temptation to'
Please reply with a good typical question, bad answers and some better answers!