2010年6月1日

[思潮] 記者別自以為了不起



 剛剛在讀行政法,一瞥電腦書籤看到這有趣的文章,轉錄跟大家分享。

--------------

連常識都不足 更別提玩世不恭的批判精神


文/洪健昭 譯/張淑伶

People like to aggrandize themselves, press workers in particular. So much so that they call the press the fourth estate, one more added to the three estates of the realm. There used to be three estates in dear old England. Actually, they were three political groups, including the Lords Spiritual (Bishops in the House of Lords), Lords Temporal (other lords) and the Commons (the common people). In modern times, English newsmen, who were very good at self-aggrandizement, came to regard themselves as forming another political or social class and began to style the press as the fourth estate.

很多人都過分誇大自己的重要性,新聞工作者尤然,甚至到了稱新聞為「第四權」的地步。尚在封建時代末期的英國有所謂「三大權」,但是此權非三權分立之權也,英國人所指的是三大社會階級,也就是「上議院神職議員」、「上議院世俗議員」以及「眾議員」三個政治團體。在現代英國社會,善於自我吹捧的新聞記者則自認為已經形成了另一個有影響力的政治和社會團體,所以是第四階級。

Newsmen in Taiwan are even more self-aggrandizing. They have translated the fourth estate as the fourth power in Chinese, one in addition to the three powers of the realm – executive, legislative and judicial. The translation may be a gross mistake on purpose. Of course, the press may be a great power in a democracy like Taiwan, but that power means a group of people who are influential rather than a right or an authority to which they are entitled. And they get smug, because their naive but loyal readership and audience parrot the vainglorious moniker.

台灣的新聞記者臉皮更厚,他們把「第四階級」翻譯成中文的「第四權」,意思是在行政、立法、司法三權之外的第四項權力;這誤譯恐怕是故意的。的確,在像台灣這樣的民主國家,新聞很有力量,但這是說這一群人很有影響力,而不是他們擁有某種政治上的權力。那些天真無知又忠厚老實的觀眾與讀者們,不斷反覆歌頌這些驕傲自大記者們的時候,記者就開始自以為了不起了。


記者是神仙、老虎、狗

As a matter of fact, some of our journalists believe they are so powerful that they are able to play god. They can’t.I am certain the best description of a reporter, according to Jimmy Wei who worked at one time as a Reuters correspondent and went on to become a director-general of the Government Information Office and then a president of the Central News Agency, is one who is a celestial being, a tiger and a dog at different times. His elaboration: A reporter may be pampered or even worshipped as a near-immortal, or as fierce as the tiger or just as subservient as a running dog. Well, Jimmy was a good reporter and a good reporter has to be a cynic. He was.

真的,有些記者認為自己權力大到可以扮演上帝。他們當然不能。曾擔任過路透記者、新聞局局長及中央社社長的魏景蒙,對記者這種人有絕妙的評價。他說,不同記者扮演了神仙、老虎、狗。他的看法是,記者可能被捧上如神仙,也可能像老虎一樣亂咬人、也會像狗一樣卑躬屈膝。「吉米」魏(魏景蒙)是個好記者,而一個好記者就得玩世不恭,像他這般。

It’s difficult to be a cynic, a person who sees little good in anything, has no belief in human progress, and shows this by being sarcastic. To qualify for such a grand title, a reporter has to have an extensive and critical knowledge in practically every field of human endeavor. He has to work himself to death to acquire that much knowledge. Few aspiring journalists want to do so. Okay, let’s lower the norm: A mediocre reporter has to have enough common knowledge, period. Searching for just so-so reporters measuring up to that yardstick may not be fruitful.

能玩世不恭不容易,這樣的人對甚麼都不太滿意,總覺得世上沒有好事,大多用嘲諷的態度看待人情世事。要配上這樣的頭銜,記者得在每個領域都有博而淺的知識,批判的精神,而且終身致力追求各項知識。然而,有這等抱負的記者寥寥無幾。好吧,那把標準降低好了:即使是二流記者也得具備足夠的常識吧。放眼看去,符合這種標準的普通記者大概也不多。

Here are a couple of news stories that prove the dearth of C-average newspaper workers. (No examples need to be cited from TV news reporting, for average viewers can scarcely understand what anchorpersons are used to blabbing at an unbelievable speed.)

以下有幾個新聞報導的例子,足以說明我們連像樣的新聞工作者都很缺乏。(當然更別提電視新聞的播報品質,主播用飛快的速度胡說亂蓋,一般觀眾其實很難聽得明白。)


不符合常識的報導

An afternoon paper in Taipei splashed its front page with a banner headline a few years ago. The top story of the day was so long as to cover the full page and it’s about a mountain-sickness case in southern Taiwan. A young lady, who was an assistant professor at a Pingtung institute of technology, joined in a field trip to a remote mountain in the neighboring county of Taitung in search of rare Formosan black bears, a very much endangered species. It was reported that she got mountain-sick at an altitude of a little more than 1,000 meters above sea level. So her colleagues called for police help. Taitung police sent a helicopter to Mount Taiwu to look for the lady suddenly taken ill. Two paramedics aboard the chopper were equipped with all kinds of first aid medicine and gear except an oxygen tank or a very small aqualung. And the pilot couldn’t locate her. In the end, he had to land the pair somewhere in the mountain and let them stay overnight there. That ended the story, though reporters wrote in detail what transpired among her and her fellow mountain-climbing scientists from the same institute of higher learning.

幾年前,台北一份晚報頭版大篇幅報導一則發生於南台灣的高山症意外,這新聞竟然長到用整版來報導。一位年輕的屏東科技大學助理教授到鄰近的台東山區尋找已瀕臨絕種的台灣黑熊。根據報導,在海拔1,000公尺處這位女老師突然得了高山症,同事趕緊打電話向警方求援,台東警局便派直升機到太武山尋人,直升機中有兩名醫務人員、完備的急救箱,但就是沒有氧氣筒。沒想到飛行員怎麼也找不到她,弄到最後是讓兩名醫務員先下飛機,在山上過了一夜;報導就此結束,全篇詳細引用了這位助理教授與和她一起登山的同事們的談話。

I was stunned when I read perhaps the worst news story in history. Reporters simply did not know no one can get mountain-sick unless he is above the timber line at the very lowest, which is about 3,000 meters. The young lady simply could never have mountain-sickness. Did they make the story up? Unlikely. Their copy was read by copy readers. Didn’t the copy readers have that little piece of common knowledge under their thick skull? Unbelievable! What about her fellow scientists who have to climb a mountain from time to time on a field trip? Didn’t they know mountain-sickness could be cured the moment the victim was lowered to an altitude below the timber line? How come the paramedics didn’t carry an aqualung or two with them, knowing the victim was mountain-sick. The police were asked for help by phone. Didn’t the caller tell them exactly where she was? How could the chopper pilot leave the paramedics in the middle of nowhere to do exactly nothing while staying overnight? Did they agree and obey the order obediently like two running dogs, though they knew full well they would be stranded there for the night? Those who produced the story were idiotic press workers. They can never hope to be cynics.

讀完後我目瞪口呆,這大概是史上最糟的新聞報導。記者難道不知道,沒有人會在低於海拔3,000公尺的地方得高山症?這位年輕的女士得的不可能是高山症。他們捏造新聞嗎?不太可能,這些報導必須經過編輯核稿後才能刊出,難不成在這些核稿人員的腦袋瓜裡,連這一丁點兒的常識都沒有?真令人不敢相信!至於那些三不五時就必須上山做調查的科學家同事,他們知不知道,只要把高山症患者移到海拔3,000公尺以下就會沒事了?還有,如果知道有人因高山症受困,醫務員怎麼會連氧氣筒都沒帶?既然是打電話報警求援,電話中難道沒說清楚受困者的位置?直升機飛行員怎能就這樣把醫務員留在荒山野外,沒什麼目的地過了一夜?這兩個醫務員明知道自己將會無依無靠地待在山上一晚,還願意像條狗一樣,乖乖順服這不合理的命令?產出這則新聞的實在是一群傻瓜新聞工作者,他們永遠都不可能達到「玩世不恭」的層次。


含糊不清的內容 不如不寫

A lady reporter who later became the editor of a newspaper in Taipei and taught news writing at one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan once wrote a human-interest story about the donation of blood in Taipei by a group of Japanese medical practitioners who were graduated from the Medical School of Taihoku Imperial University. She started the story with several days ago and followed it up with several Japanese doctors who went to the Taiwan University Hospital to give blood, not knowing an inexact date and an inexact number of people involved are taboos in news writing. An even more inexact unit of capacity ensued. She wrote: They donated a small bottle of blood. She didn’t know blood donated is measured in cubic centimeters.

有位曾在台灣最負盛名的大學教新聞寫作的報社編輯,在她還是記者時,寫過一篇有人情味的報導,是關於一群畢業於日據時期台北帝國大學的日籍醫師來台捐血的故事。這報導的開端就是「日昨」,然後描述「幾位」日本醫師到台大醫院捐血的過程,卻彷彿忘了,沒提到明確的時間和人數是新聞寫作的大忌。還有更不明確地,這位記者寫道:「他們捐血捐了一小瓶」,顯然她不知道,捐血是用c.c.數(立方毫米)來衡量的。

Few, if any, reporters in Taiwan are good at math. Their reporting on numbers is almost always wrong. Let’s pick up a report on Taiwan’s foreign trade for a casual checkup. A reporter writes about the trade volume and its breakdown. But when you sum up the numbers in the breakdown, the sum doesn’t – more often than not – tally with the total volume. A news agency reporter once wrote an otherwise good story about the daily protein intake of the people on Taiwan. He cited the number of hogs slaughtered a year and our population. His numbers didn’t tally. Based on the numbers reported, a hog weighed a mere two kilograms or 4.4 pounds.

沒幾個台灣記者把數學學好,哪怕隨手拿份台灣外貿的報導來看看就知道,報導數字常出錯。有記者寫到貿易總額和細目,但你若是把這些細目逐一加起來,通常得到的數目字和他寫的貿易總額不一致。還有個通訊社記者,某次寫到台灣人民的每日蛋白質攝取量,文中提到台灣人口數和每年被屠宰的豬隻數量,這原本是不錯的報導,但其中數據計算不清不楚,根據他的報導,一隻豬只重約兩公斤。

A mass-circulation paper put out a good caption story the other day. The picture shows a folk Taoist temple designated as a historic relic by the Council of Cultural Affairs. The story was not very well told, but worst of all, the reporter didn’t tell the readers where they could find the shrine.

某天有份大報刊出一則新聞,照片裡是一間被文建會指定為古蹟的道觀。報導寫得不怎麼樣,但最糟的是,整篇文章裡記者都沒提到這間寺廟在哪兒。

I am not nit-picking. All that I dare to hope for is a somewhat plausible story by a run-of-the mill news writer. Is that an exorbitant price the man in the street demands of our self-styled wordsmiths who are trying probably unwittingly to murder the Chinese language a la the British model described by the celebrated grammarian H. W. Fowler of Concise Oxford Dictionary fame? Fellow journalists, work harder to learn more. Don’t get smug, please.

我不是要雞蛋裡挑骨頭,只是希望一般的新聞記者要寫出起碼看起來合理的報導,這對自封為「文字匠」的我們來說,難道是過分的要求嗎?而套用編輯《牛津簡明英文字典》的弗勒說法,這些文字匠正不經意地殘害我們的中文呢。記者同業們,認真點,好學些,別自以為有什麼了不起,拜託。

 
原文網址:http://newsworld.cna.com.tw/post/e8a898e88085e588a5e887aae4bba5e782bae4ba86e4b88de8b5b7.aspx

2 回應:

匿名 提到...

「讀完後我目瞪口呆,這大概是史上最糟的新聞報導。記者難道
不知道,沒有人會在低於海拔3,000公尺的地方得高山症?這位年輕的女士得的不可能是高山症。他們捏造新聞嗎?不太可能,這些報導必須經過編輯核稿後才能刊出,難不成在這些核稿人員的腦袋瓜裡,連這一丁點兒的常識都沒有?真令人不敢相信!至於那些三不五時就必須上山做調查的科學家同事,他們知不知道,只要把高山症患者移到海拔3,000公尺以下就會沒事了?」

看完洪先生這段嚴厲無比的批評,才是令我目瞪口呆,心想:「倒底是誰沒有常識?」

由衷建議,專業的洪先生在評論前,不妨先做做功課,包括查查論文、問問專家,這些是一位記者報導前的最基本動作,而不是以過時的「記憶」,想當然爾,就大肆批評。

在下並不確定那則1000公尺以上罹患高山症的新聞是否屬實,

但根據醫學文獻,1500公尺即屬於高海拔,就可能發生高山症,
隨著高度升高,發病的風險越高,
因此,並非如洪先生文中所述,一定要3000公尺以上才會發生,
而一旦發生高山症,也不是退到3000公尺以下就會不藥而癒。
下山,正是治療的原則之一,與洪先生文中陳述也有所差異。


不妨請您參考台大醫院的高山症介紹以及北美急診醫學期刊的一篇論文:
1.《高山症》(High Altitude Illness):「在海拔高度1500公尺以上就有可能發生高山症,隨著高度越高,出現症狀的比例越高...」
http://www.ntuh.gov.tw/FM/DocLib20/31.%E9%AB%98%E5%B1%B1%E7%97%87.pdf

2.www.altitudemedicine.org/.../...ltitudeIllness.pdf

ckprodigal 提到...

哈!你找到重點了!
也感謝你的查證!!

張貼留言

 

耳機裡的新浪潮 Design by Insight © 2009