One story that slid by me turned out to be significant. On the day that the president returned to Male, two conservative MPs from Britain were in town conferring with the main opposition party, the MDP. We aired a VO/SOT at the top of the B block with soundbites from the visitors. Several people expressed their surprise that this had aired.
We also missed a story due to camera crew problems. We got report that “faculty students” were going on strike at one of the higher education schools. Sure enough, we arrived to find the strikers ready to walk out the door. But then the cameraman got a call saying he should not tape because they needed to save the material that was on the tape in his camera. So… we missed it.
There is an immediate need to organize the camera crews and set some professional standards for them. Right now there is no such thing as an assignment desk, and if you can get a crew at all it’s likely that they’ll forget a necessary piece of equipment like a microphone cable or a light. A few of the shooters are really talented, so I think it’s just a matter of creating a structure and getting the reporters to communicate better with the crews about the equipment needed when planning stories.
Finally, there was an indication that things are getting pretty testy in the special assembly, or majlis, that is hammering out the new constitution. One of our cameramen eyewitnessed one member slapping another! The rules for cameras in the chamber prevented him from getting a picture of it. Initially we heard that this occurred during debate over the presidential clause in the new constitution, but later proved to be a more personal tiff over something that was in the minutes from the previous day. Still, can you imagine what huge news it would be if one member of the US Congress publicly slapped another? We had to have a serious discussion of why this might be news here.