'Ignorant about technology' Blair records podcast for his local paper

Tony Blair has recorded a podcast for The Northern Echo — the daily newspaper in his Sedgefield constituency.

Blair recorded a special message for the paper to mark the launch of its new podcasting site.

As well as a longer audio broadcast, the site included a short segment of downloadable video.

The Darlington-based paper secured an exclusive interview with Blair, who told political editor Chris Lloyd his knowledge of technology was not up to scratch.

He said: "I am pretty ignorant about technology, but, in practical terms, I know it's important.

"I know from my own children that they have to be able to use it, and use it expertly, but for me it's all somewhat unfamiliar.

"I am privileged to be part of The Northern Echo's first podcast, but I'm sure it won't be the last and this is probably the way it will be for years to come.

"In 100 years another Prime Minister may be using even better technology to get across what newspapers do, which is inform people about events and launch some fantastic campaigns that make a real difference to people's lives."

Photographer Chris Booth, who had just come to the paper from a Newsquest video training course in Bradford, edited and uploaded the footage alongside the podcast.

Lloyd, who has been interviewing Blair since he came to power in 1997, said: "We have quite a good relationship and it was done more as a local MP doing a podcast, who just happens to be the Prime Minister.

"It was great kudos having the Prime Minister launching the thing, but it's about the long history of The Northern Echo, which started in 1870, and finding a new medium for our successful content."

The Echo is planning to offer a wide range of podcasts via the new site.

Editor Peter Barron has recorded a podcast of his paper's popular Dad at Large column. And the Echo's Mike Amos, who has just been awarded an MBE, will also contribute.

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