Wednesday, January 9, 2008


I just watched the programme and must say I was pretty surprised they managed to stretch what they had for half an hour. I got the impression that the programme was more about the students and training them to be journalists rather than about the topic because there really wasn't much about feeding cats or looking into the issues at hand. It's certainly good that Channel News Asia is trying to train aspiring journalists and that the students are so enthused, but I think the topic was really sort of beside the point. What I got from this episode was more about what the students learnt (waiting for people can be long and boring, not everyone wants to be interviewed, the hours are long, etc) than about feeding - and I think this is what the layperson would have drawn from it too. Perhaps they were on a rushed deadline because I only got an email from them on 31st December and more work would have made it a better piece.

It was a shame that a more balanced viewpoint was not put across though Selina from the SPCA did speak well about TNRM. It would have been better to perhaps try and find caregivers and to interview them rather than to lie in wait for them. That would I think have prepared the people who were to be interviewed and would have meant that someone who was willing to go on camera might be found. Passers by also looked pretty apprehensive when a camera was shoved into their face - and caregivers who are often made to feel guilty or even criminal about their behaviour are probably even LESS likely to want to be interviewed on television and is I think understandable. It would also give a better idea of whom caregivers are - they certainly aren't all (or even mostly) women having marital problems (though I know that was given as just an example) but come from a wide range of occupations, ages, races and gender and people all feed for many different reasons. Ask ten different people and I would not be surprised if you might get ten different answers.

I hope the colony there doesn't get into trouble after this piece.


eslina said...

I just hope these are not our best journalism students... They really need a lot of improvement & guidance.

Anonymous said...

I caught like 10 mins of the show and was initially fascinated by it. The sight of the cats and the knowledge that someone cared for them was enriching. Then when the young journalists started whining about how the lady was uncooperative and did not want to get interviewed blah blah was the part I got turned off. They obviously do not know how some of these caregivers are treated, like pariahs and oddballs. Then again, they are young and naive and do not know the ways of the world yet. I agree with eslina that they need LOADS of guidance.