Never let reasoned debate be lost in the emotion

In this 2 minute video, shot in one quick take on Friday afternoon, I ask Mark Pownall about the shark cull controversy that is raging around WA at the moment. Mark grew up in a WA family which fished regularly. He understands the issues, and always researches something before committing to writing. He is a respected journalist, and always thinks in an original, measured way. I wanted to ask him why he wrote an article about sharks in a business publication, and what he thought of the reaction to it. Give it a view to hear his reasoning.

I’ve known Mark 15 years now. He wrote the first article on my start-up back in 1999, and followed our journey with interest. It’s fascinating to work alongside him now, and see how, together with editor Mark Beyer, he marshalls the content streaming in and out of the newsroom.

Away from the hyperbole, it’s important to be able to sit back and think about issues. Mark P’s main concern in this story was that the naysayers seemed to be drowning out any sensible debate. Interestingly, he’s had many emails this week, all in support of his line. On the web site, we took 17 comments, mostly positive. On twitter, we had some people decrying the article as “bad” and a mere “standard bearer for the Liberal party”. While some people get all confident and scream from behind a keyboard, I feel it’s more admirable to provide calm analysis and perspective to the situation. That way people tend to listen, and you may win them over. You get the feeling Mark does not worry too much about the argument one way or the other, or who wins it, just that it’s educated and informed. Long may it be so.

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