Lessons from a remote nation: How media teams can thrive when everyone’s been sent home

Feeling isolated and removed from the action all of a sudden? Welcome to life-as-usual in New Zealand.

As borders seal off, offices shut down, and people around the world adjust to the reality of working life separated from their peers and their everyday tools of trade, New Zealanders should adapt faster than most. As a nation of five million very civilised people living on two islands in the remote South Pacific—and with more than 2,500 miles as the crow flies to our nearest neighbours in Australia—the #RemoteLife will feel like just another day at the office for many “Kiwis.

So, if you’re struggling to adjust to this new reality, you could do worse than to find a Kiwi shoulder to cry on.

And if you work in the media, you may want to take a look at Blinder, a media interview platform that makes it easy to connect anyone, anywhere, through any mobile phone or computer, and capture video and audio content to share with your audience.

So wherever in the world you’re working from, Blinder can help you to tell better stories, faster, with ease. And we can do it now.

The solution is:

  • Cloud-based - not on-premise like most broadcast infrastructure - which means that users can access Blinder from anywhere in the world through any mobile phone or computer.
  • Contactless - the solution is so easy to use that training can usually be completed through a 60 minute webinar, and can be deployed anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes (no handshakes required).
  • Collaborative - interview content is captured in the cloud, so it can be easily shared between team members working in different locations.
  • Frictionless - Blinder calls are literally as easy as a phone call. Interviewees don’t need to create a user account and are not required to download any special software.

So that means you can have one team member schedule a call, another conduct an interview, and another retrieve the recording for editing or publishing—all within a shared dashboard, and all within a handful of mouse clicks.

It is said that adversity is the mother of invention, and Blinder was created in New Zealand to help media professionals cope with the adversities of remote obligations.

The technology was inspired by Caley Wilson, a former Media Manager at the New Zealand Rugby League. Based in Auckland, New Zealand, Caley was responsible for arranging media interviews with professional rugby league players who were plying their trade in places as far-flung as the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America.

Determined to satisfy the media’s incessant demand for access to his players, but also committed to protecting their privacy and performance, Caley became frustrated with the inadequate tools of trade available to him. When he asked industry peers how they arranged remote interviews, he found that they fell into two broad camps:

  • Those who share their athletes phone numbers with the media, and hope that everyone will “play nice” (an approach that’s more common in Australia and New Zealand than elsewhere); and,
  • Those who call the media from their own mobile phones or computers, and then hand the device over to their “talent”.

The first solution never sat comfortably with Caley for privacy reasons, and the second is just a hugely inefficient way of doing things—and no longer kosher in post-coronavirus life.

So in 2016 Caley created Blinder, a remote interview platform that allowed his athletes to receive media calls on their own mobile phones, without sharing their number with the caller. The platform allows media managers the ability to provide secure and controlled access to their talent (wherever in the world they may be) and to record their interviews for future reference.

Since its creation, Blinder has been used by Olympic champions, Grammy winners, and from organizations like the Australian Football League (AFL) to the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

And when Blinder launched its video interview solution in 2019, it became the easiest way for content producers to connect with a a news source anywhere in the world, through any mobile phone or computer, and capture video content to share with their audience.

Wherever in the world you’re working from now, Blinder can help you to tell better stories, faster, with ease. And we can do it now.

Read more about our #RemoteLife Starter Kits for media teams here, or send an email to hello@blinderhq.com to find out more.

The team at Blinder are #RemoteLife experts, and we’re here to help.

Ross McConnell is a "late blooming startup athlete”, fortunate husband, father-under-training of three young boys, and Co-Founder of Blinder.