Business Times

New way to meet the press: By phone

Sri Lankan journalists’ first experience to a media conference by telephone was an amusing one, two weeks back. The IMF’s new Resident Representative Koshy Mathai, who arrived in Sri Lanka a month, called a telephone briefing instead of the usual face-to-face conference that we are more familiar with.
Journalists were asked to call two numbers given one morning, and pose questions.

While Mr Mathai expertly responded to all the questions by unseen journalists from the media, there were some light and amusing moments for participants. Here’s a tongue-in-cheek resume of those moments:

Journalist A - Hello, hello – It’s my turn?
Journalist B - That question is not related
IMF Rep (R) - Sorry, what were you saying?
Female voice C - Hello Mr Mathai? Can I speak to Mr Mathai?
C: Aney eyata ahanney nadde. Aney mata make corrennu baha
B – Machan - he can't hear us
C - Hello Mr Mathai? Can I speak to Mr Mathai?
R – Gentlemen – Sorry we lost you there.
C – Hello Mr Mathai - Aney mekka karadarayak.
B – We lost the link. That fellow (…) is asking too many questions.

(With no malice to any of our media colleagues or the IMF, but just for a laugh. Now with world leaders and politicians facing the threat of not a bullet but a shoe being thrown during press conferences, the tele-conference may be the meeting-the–press of the future. However last week a proper briefing was held by the IMF. Suffice to say that went smoothly

– Business Editor

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