Sunday, 13 January 2008
Define "exclusive" "獨家"的定義
The first part of the lead-in (anchor's script) to XTV's (name purposely obscured) story yesterday on the boy waiting for a heart transplant:
After (our) exclusive story on Xunxun's story of needing a heart transplant, more and more people have joined in the efforts of finding a donor by forwarding the email of his father pleading for help...
I wonder how some reporters and editors at XTV define "exclusive."
Last Tuesday afternoon, when I was assigned this story, I got in touch with the father and made an appointment to make an interview for 15h00. He asked if it was OK to do it with BTV, I said sure. Well, if it is with BTV, it sure isn't an exclusive, which was a little disappointing for me, but what can you expect when the source was from an email being passed around on the Internet? When I arrived at the hospital, BTV, CTV, DTV, ETV and XTV were all there as well, waiting for the father to come out.
As we got out of the car, XTV got back into their car and left. We thought they got reassigned, until we asked the father at the end of the interview if it was alright to go to their home to get images of the boy's toys, pictures, etc. Then he said, "XTV is was just there with my wife. They drove her back home with them. Now they're bringing her back here to meet me, then we're going to a prayer meeting together." At that point, all we could do was wait for her to come back to the hospital and interview her. No home, no footage of items related to the little boy.
The XTV reporter took away the mother, one of our interviewees, right out from under our noses while we were waiting for everyone to finish setting up, and brought her home just so they can get "exclusive" footage.
I thought it was unbelievable and unacceptable. Why?
1. they snuck away an interviewee from the rest of us
2. their "exclusive" was made by cheating the rest of us
3. because they took the wife away and we had to wait for her to come back, we almost didn't make our deadline
4. they call this an "exclusive," while everyone had the same story
If it were an angle that only they thought about, then it would have been fine. If it had been a story that only they knew, that would have been fine, too. But we were all there, making the same story, and going to someone's home to film is practically standard procedure!
So what I'd really like to know is how they define the following:
2. professionalism and ethics
They may have good anchors, good pictures and good ratings, but their credibility and professionalism just gets more questionable as I get to know them more. Come to think of it, XTV false reports on how ducks were being plucked by material used in asphalt, and the made-up Bin Laden terrorist-style footage of a gangster threatening his mob boss was only last year. Perhaps their pressure to come up with exclusives is getting to them again. Perhaps they're once again starting to compromise integrity for security.
If this there is a misunderstanding somewhere in here, please let me know. In fact, I hope this was all a misunderstanding.
(picture via TVBS news)