20 Questions with Rajini Vaidyanathan

Rajini Vaidyanathan is a British political reporter for the BBC. Her varied career has included being political correspondent for Radio 1 and Washington correspondent for BBC News . Outside of politics, Rajini has also reported from the red carpet at the Oscars and spoken to young Israelis and Palestinians about the conflict in the Middle East.

Her most recent project is a documentary for the BBC World Service on internet marriage in India. Rajini attended the University of York and was heavily involved in student media there.

1) What is the most rewarding thing about your job?
The most rewarding thing about my job is that through my job I’ve had the privelege of having a front row seat on some massive events in history, like announcing Obama had won the US election live. And, I”ve also seen the world – reporting from Washington, Romania, India, Jerusalem and Brussels to name a few.

2) Who is the most powerful person you’ve ever interviewed?
I interviewed Tony Blair several times when he was PM – on some heavyweight issues including the Middle East. I’ve interviewed most of the main UK party leaders and key players. And Al Gore!

3) Why did you decide to become a politics reporter?
What’s great about is is that it matters. This current election has shown how politics affects everything we do. It’s exciting and totally unpredictable too.

4) Would you ever allow your personal beliefs to influence your reporting?

5) What are you most proud of?
See answer 1, but I’m proud of all the amazing things I’ve done and the people I’ve met through my work – not just celebrities but just interesting people from all walks of life. I’m very proud that I’ve won awards for my work too – always nice to get recognised for all those late nights, and long hours!

6) Who would you most like to interview?
I suppose it’s a bit clichéd but I’d love to interview George Bush now he’s out of office… spend time with him in his Dallas home. Oh – and away from politics totally – Paul McCartney.

7) Who are your heroes and influences?
My mum and dad.

8) What would you like to be remembered for most?
I think it’s too early to be writing my memoirs don’t you!

9) What do you spend your time doing when you don’t have to work?
I love live music and indie films. If I’m not at work you might find me at a gig, sitting in a coffee shop with friends or holidaying somewhere around the world. Work-life balance is essential.

10) What’s the first thing you would do if you were declared leader of the world?
Wouldn’t happen so best not to answer.

11) What subject do you most enjoy reporting on?
Politics, naturally.

12) What’s the best place you’ve got to visit as part of your job?
Probably Jersualem and the West Bank in terms of being beautiful and interesting too. Also lucky to have been to my fave cities – NY and Mumbai and Washington for work.

13) What is your favourite sort of music?
Guitar music. Acoustic singer songwriter stuff.

14) What was the last movie you watched?
The Blind Side.

15) What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Hmm. Harry Potter. Or Catcher in the Rye!

16) Describe yourself in 3 words.
Enthusiastic, loyal, fun.

17) What is your guilty pleasure?
Hello Kitty branded merchandise. Kooky but cute.

18) What could you not live without?
My family.

19) What would you advise students who hope to achieve similar successes as yourself?
Be patient. It’s a marathon not a sprint. Have a vision, and don’t give up, as cheesy as that might sound!

20) Vision or Nouse?
Without a shadow of a doubt Vision. I edited the paper at York. It was my life for years. Some of my best friends were made on the paper. Pathetic, but rivalries with Nouse still exist 10 years on. So no way to Nouse. Victory to Vision!

3 thoughts on “20 Questions with Rajini Vaidyanathan

  1. I can’t believe she went to York and did Vision. Shows that being dedicated to a society can work out in the long term.

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