Media is not perfect. (You should hear journalists b_tch!) Our natural tendency is to go for the great shot, the great line, the ’scoop’ — and that is across all platforms. We spend lots of hours and lots of breath — and yeah, lots of tears — trying to come up with safeguards against the possibility of being desensitized of all other considerations. That’s an all-media reality.
It would be self-serving to cite all those foreign reports (bbc, cnn, hk papers) as proof that we, media, are the good guys and that the cops were the bad guys. In the first place, Monday’s event wasn’t a game of cops and robbers.
This was a long day with many groups of people — Hongkong residents and officials not the least — running around trying their darn best to make some sense of an unraveling horror. You do not need to be a blame seeker to understand what “authority” means or what “leadership” is (or to feel sad at the glaring absence of the latter).
The other night was my first time on the other end of a monitor. Without dismissing viewers’ concerns and criticism, and standing by an earlier blog, here’s a tidbit from the new kid on the block:
This is what I said that night as everyone went home, and said very humbly… Now I know just how hard folks in broadcast work and how complex the choices at hand — when a dozen screens are lit up with possibles and 30 people before you, around you and across the metropolis are all trying to get heard all at the same time.
Maybe I’m just a new fan, enjoying a brand new world (yes, that’s a cliche!) — but also not a blind fan. What I saw and heard was a hall of people (and another set of folks on the other side of the monitors) trying to do their darn best to do right and — yes, those in the newsroom and on the ground — to self regulate and adjust accordingly every second of that long, bitter day. There was no movement that didn’t cOme with a cautionary word, a word of warning, yells to shift or stop even as DO became DID.
But yes, we will always need (and will always be grateful) to have the public as our conscience.