Basket of News

Afra has done a great job establishing the TV side of the National Broadcast News Center. He is making the conference calls to the reporters in the 20 atoll bureaus the night before and presenting the morning assignment meeting with a full basket of stories at 8 am the next day. The problem is that the radio side has failed to send an assignment editor. Someone was appointed, but declined to attend the training sessions because he claimed he didn’t have orders from the head of radio to do so. By contrast, TV was so eager to get started that at one point they appointed two assignment editors. But TV’s staff shortage makes it impossible to spare both of these capable individuals.Reassigning Afra has worsened the staff shortage on the foreign desk, which translates Reuters news stories into Dhivehi and produces the 9 pm news bulletin in English. Only Zihu and Jadlow will be left on the English desk, due to the departure of one editor for studies overseas and the fact that 15 year old Toofah has to leave in a couple of months to finish 11th and 12th grade. One of my goals on the next coaching visit will be to strengthen the English program so that the many English speakers observing the election will have a nightly source of reliable information on TVM.