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Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Short film: what do you hate the most

January 22, 2010 1 comment

I started making a short film today.

I copied the idea from “50 people, one question”. Basically, you ask one question, like “what do you hate the most” I asked today, then you edit all the answers together.

I’m planning to ask “what do you love the most” as well.

The interesting part is that people will smile happily in front of the camera when waiting for the question. Few people really appear angry when talking about what they hate the most.

Well, maybe because most of them are my classmates.

I’ll try some other people tomorrow.

What I’m concerned is that the sound quality might not be good because I’m using the on-camera microphone. This is what I got from university for my TV course. Using connected microphone will be too complicated because I’m working alone. I don’t want to set the camera on a tripod.

One good thing I found today is that I’m having a steady hand now. I tried last semester, but it didn’t work out well.

Last week David was filming in class when some guest speakers gave us lectures. I looked at how he was holding his small camera, and I learned his way.

Observe, and learn quickly.

My short film might not be so good as expected, but anyway, I’ll finish it.

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TV talenet show exposes China’s race issue. Or, really?

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

CNN website published a story about a black Chinese girl causing controversies allegedly due to her skin color, and concluded that racism is a serious problem in China. Is this reporting objective?

Picture from: SMG

Lou Jing, 20 years old, was born in Shanghai to a Chinese mother and an African-american father. The only difference she has with other Chinese girls is her black skin.

Four months ago, she participated in a TV talent show in Shanghai called “Go Oriental Angel”, and was eliminated before the finale.

At the stage, she said she was raised in a single-parent family, and now wanted to find her father.

Off the show stage, Lou became the center of heated discussion. She was “attacked” on the Internet. Some Chinese netizens even made racial discriminative remarks such as “she shouldn’t have been born” and “get out of China”.

Did she lie?

This is basically the CNN version of the story. But, was it really her skin color that sparked those hostile remarks as CNN claimed?

Let’s hear the other side of the story.

With the help of “human flesh search engine”, some Chinese netizens claimed Lou was lying.

Lou’s mother was married to a Chinese man. When she left work to pursue further study in a Shanghai college, she had an affair with an African-american who also studied there. The man left before Lou was born.

The Chinese man was protective of both Lou and her mother. He said Lou’s black skin was because her mother ate a lot of Chinese herbal medicines when she was pregnant.

For three years, the Chinese man protected “his” family until he could no longer undertake the never-stopped finger-pointing. He gave up his career and left for Japan.

However, Lou said she had never had a father and was raised by her mother single-handedly.

Those who believed she was lying felt it was unfair for the Chinese man who sacrificed so much for three years to bring her up. They started to pour their anger over the web.

Has CNN been objective?

I’m not here to judge which side of the story is true; I can’t prove anything.

But I’m sure that CNN was absolutely wrong to say that it was Lou’s skin color that was the center of the disputes.

Totally disagree. The central issue of the disputes was honesty.

Besides, those racial discriminative remarks were made by just a few. They were not the main voice on the web.

In fact, I had some doubts about CNN’s reporting of this story.

  • The story happened in late August and lasted until mid September. Since then, it has subsided. Why did CNN pick it up after three months later?
  • Why didn’t CNN mention the real controversies about Lou Jing? For fear of defamation? Then why didn’t CNN ask Lou or her mother to clarify?
  • Was it right to say that a few unreasonable people’s remarks stand for what most Chinese people think? Search “Lou Jing” in Chinese in google, there are only less than 600,000 results. If you can read Chinese, you’ll see nearly 80% talked about her story instead of racial problem.

These is nothing wrong to report a single case to address a general issue, but there must be a solid connection between these two; otherwise, it’s like you call a white cloth “black” when all you see is just a black dot on the cloth.

Jounalist’s code of conduct

When we talk about news reporting, there are four rules that journalists have to abide by:

  • objectivity
  • fairness
  • balance
  • impartiality

Richard Sambrook, Director of BBC World Service and Global News Division, had an article “Holding on to objectivity” in which he talked about the differences of these four principles.

Sadly, none of them is loyally implemented in the CNN story.

BBC College of Journalism website launched

December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

BBC launched its College of Journalism website on 14 December. From staff journalists to part-time journalists, an era of pan-journalists has finally come.

BBC CoJo

BBC CoJo Snapshot

The website, also called CoJo, was created three years ago, but its access has been limited to BBC staffs until this Monday. Now, all people in the UK can visit the site.

As CoJo first director Vin Ray says, CoJo is to “design and deliver training and learning for BBC journalists in the UK and around the world.”

However, CoJo is not just for BBC journalists. It suits everyone who is interested in telling their own stories in a journalistic manner.

Why go public?

Martin Moore, Director of The Media Standards Trust, explained the importance of the launch of CoJo website.

CoJo teaches the public about principle of journalism. To put in a way that the general public can better understand, it is about trust, trust in what you publish on the web: bbs, blogs, facebook, youtube, among others.

Working journalists or student journalists who are already familiar with these principles can reflect on their practice using guidance provided by CoJo, nevertheless, they may find the skills part more useful.

For the general public who contributed a big part to the avalanche of information over Internet, CoJo website offers the most substantial online sources for journalistic practice.

What comes next?

Everybody can tell a story. The development of technology has substantially diversified the ways of telling a story.

Many years ago, it was the job of an extremely limited group of people who were called journalists.

The wide application of Internet created hundreds of millions of bloggers. Sometimes it is hard to tell the differences between bloggers and journalists.

Nowadays, anyone who can write, speak or film can be an amateur journalist. They can write blogs, post pictures, upload podcasts, or publish video clips.

Some of their stores were indeed used by the mainstream media.

For journalists, it might be the worst of time as they will be competing with all people to get their stories published or aired; but for the public, it might be the best of times.