Journalist Should Not Be Director

Last week, I received an interview from ICS (International Channel Shanghai). The program is ICS news.

I regretted that I didn’t insist not to take the interview. I have decided not to take interview from the local media, especially TV media, but finally, I said yes.

Then it comes the filming. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience inn talk show programs from ICS. My favorite is “Culture Matters”, which I have been with their program for 5 times. I enjoyed the style of Sammy who is the host, and also the CEO of Sunny TV. He brought a lot of modern journalism style to the program. For example, they only record 30 minutes in total for the 20 something minutes program. That means, they basically broadcast all the content without too much editing. For other talk show like “Crossing Over” with Hong Huang, it went on well, although not as good as Culture Matter.

This is the first time I appear on News type program. To my surprised, I found I became an actor, and the journalist became the director. They have a script to record me in a restaurant, explaining the menu in English, to a foreigner. I don’t like that idea. I think it is stupid and not relevant to what I do. Finally, I firmly said no to the request on that section.

The few minutes shooting was on air at 9:00 PM the same night. I didn’t bother watch it. The key point is, I want journalism to be an observer, not the director. I want to be the person I am, not to act in a script. That is the key conflict in belief.

I know that is the way news is produced in China, even the English language news with expat as audience. What I can do is to stay away from it.

3 thoughts on “Journalist Should Not Be Director

  1. Dear Wang,

    I totally understand and support your idea. This is something doesn’t follow your principle… But you mean finally the shooting was on TV even you said no? This is unacceptable I think.


  2. Well. We didn’t record the part about restaurant, and broadcast some of the interview before camera. I don’t know how it turned out, but that is under my permission.

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