Eric Seldin is a recently retired freelance broadcast cameraman during a 35-year career, for disparate clients such as CBC, CTV, NHK, AP, Reuters, and corporate entities. Residing in Thailand since 1992, he is married to Sorathorn Vichaino. A past Executive Board Member of the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand, he developed a traditional bagel bakery in Bangkok named Feedpoint Cafe (www.facebook.com/feedpoint/) after years of pining for something other than “a roll with a hole”. It specializes in hand-rolled, kettled Montreal and NY style bagels, smoked meat and salmon sandwiches, and homemade baked goods. 

Please tell us a little about where you are from, where you grew up and how you became interested in broadcasting. “I grew up in central New York State, and after a year in Japan as a high school exchange student, I majored in International Relations/East Asian and Cuban studies at American University. Being a generally poor student, in 1982, I parlayed my photography hobby into a job at CNN as a cameraman/soundman and moved on from there.”

Scariest broadcasting moment? “Being in Port Au Prince with CBC in 1986 when Duvalier fled the country. Violent mobs tried to flip our Land Cruiser with us inside while we saw people being “necklaced” around us. We were shaken but not stirred, thankfully.”

Funniest broadcasting moment? “Watching Mr. T sit on Nancy Reagan’s lap during a White House photo-op.”

Saddest broadcasting moment? “Covering both Tsunamis in their aftermaths. The magnitude of nature’s ability to destroy everything within the space of minutes was humbling.”

Most interesting broadcasting moment? “So many, but every occasion I had to film surgical operations was a unique opportunity to see the inner workings of the human body and to view the everyday miracles performed by the medical community.”

What do you miss most about broadcasting? “I miss the camaraderie of a full crew working hard together to bring current events into viewers’ living rooms.”

Do you have any media heroes and if so why? “Joe Schlesinger of CBC and Mike Wallace of CBS. The most consummate professionals who practiced their crafts, despite the risks involved, to the best of their abilities so that their audiences could form the most educated decisions about world affairs. My working experiences with them were master classes in journalism.”

Most interesting political figure you’ve met? “South Korea’s Kim Dae-Jung, who tried in vain to bring lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula”.

Most fascinating place you’ve visited? “A tie between the Mongolian steppes and Far Eastern Russia.”

What places do you still want to visit and why? “North Korea; it’s been my “holy grail” for decades because it remains unimaginable to me.”

Why did you decide to stay in Thailand? “I moved here in 1992, and have always found it to be an exciting base for working in the television industry. I retired from active news coverage in 2016 so as I now have our Bagel shop, this will be my home. Plus, the desire to return to the USA waned a long time ago.”

What are your favourite hobbies? “Photography and (embarrassingly) Twitter.”

Favourite author(s)? “Christopher Hitchens, P.J. O’Rourke, and almost everyone who writes for the New Yorker”.

Favourite film(s)? “Apocalypse Now (the original).”

Non-media hero and why? “Malala Yousafzai. Her bravery and commitment are what everyone should aspire to.”

If you hadn’t been in broadcasting, you would have been…? “A travel agent.”

Do you notice any similar character traits between Canadians and Thais? “Love of beer.”

What do you miss most about North America? “The vastness, the wide-open geographical areas, the abilty to hop in the car and just drive aimlessly for hours.”

What is special about the Feedpoint Cafe? “We try to be laid-back and remind our patrons of lunch at home. We encourage discussions of current topics in an open and free space, much like “chatting around the old pickle barrel.”

What’s your idea of a perfect day? “24 C, billowy clouds in azure blue skies, the wind at my back, drinking a Bloody Caesar on the balcony.”

What is the perfect bagel? “A light but moderately crunchy crust, a bit of a struggle to pull apart, a chewy and firm interior. “If it’s not boiled it’s not a bagel”

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