Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Standupper

Today was the run around day. I got dragged out to Taman Tun by Norzie to help her pick between Celcom and Maxis. She's going to Mekah and wants to use the internet while on the move there. I'm pretty sure they don't have 3G there yet, but plenty of WiFi spots. Since she's got a Maxis number already, we when over to Maxis to change her pre-paid to a post-paid. With the rates being so competitive these days, it really doesn't make much of a difference anymore between the two.

There was an awfully long waiting line at the Maxis shop. We cheated (unintentionally) by taking the shortest number for a different counter to ask a mundane question and casually asked if they could do something else for us instead. Save us about 30 minutes of sitting around aimlessly.

She told me of the criticism she got at work and that got me thinking about journalism in Malaysia. I realize most broadcast journalists here didn't actually study this at college. They're missing a lot of the basic skills such as ethics, inquisitive skills and understanding the rules. Most of them do learn it after years of hands on experience. Those who did study it, including your's truly are a bit of an ass and view others (unintentionally most of the time) as below them. It's like a class system. In the end of the day, what really matter is the end results, getting the story out. I don't talk about what I learned in my uni anymore, less I sound like I'm bragging... however, I do want to improve the work of my colleagues.

I've started reading my college books again. They never really made sense until after I actually started working. I remember my first day on the job. I was tagged to a senior reporter and we when to a press conference of all places, at my father's former office. It was embarassing because some of his former colleagues knew me and I had to introduce myself to the rest of the wolf pack (the reporters from other media). The next day, I had to go out on my own already and I was trown straight into the deep end, it was either swim or drown. I had to go visit a family asking for help for their child who had a hearing problem. I kept thinking during the shoot, "shit, what if I f*ck up? what if this kid doesn't get the help he needs because I f*cked up? He'll be deaf forever all because of me!". I still remember how the parents were really calm when I first talked to them but when the camera was rolling and the microphone was in their face, their tears started rolling on cue. You might call it acting but I understand now a parent's determination to do anything for their child. A child's need is always more important than one's pride. The last I heard, I think the kid did get someone to sponsor a hearing aid. Well, I tried.

A lot of the things I learned in uni did pay of, all those months spend trying to learn the difference between in and out point; jump cuts; pan shots and cutting SOT's came naturally at work. Now I can sit comfortably in an edit room and edit or stand behind the shoulders of any editors and give credible advice. Sometimes I feel frustrated at other's lack of quality in their editing, I keep thinking, "damnit, if I can do it why can't you?" but I have to remind myself often, I was just like that once and they have a steeper learning curve. They don't have the benefit of having a proper structured learning environment.

I do want to teach them stuff but sometimes I hold back, less they think I'm trying to show of. I drop hints occasionally but I don't go any further with those I don't know well. I think I'll bring my college text book to work tomorrow and try preaching from the bible to them. "Hear me you mere mortals, the lord has spoken and his word is the truth!"... okay, that's a bit over acting, maybe try something less preachy.

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