Sunday, May 20, 2007

Making the Story

Michael Klein tells his story.

Yesterday I had the great good fortune to accompany Michael Klein (the New Hampshire Bushman) to the offices of United Daily News (UDN) in Hsinchu to discuss his experiences with the recent crash of fighter 5371 (Michael's post). The resultant article is online at Yahoo and UDN. Michael's site is currently experiencing an enormous surge in visits.

I've been critical of the media here, but the two reporters handled the interview and Michael's concerns with consummate professionalism. The interview was very detailed, though we had repeated problems with vocabulary, even though one of the reporters had excellent command of English. For example, explaining what the photos showed, Michael used the word crack in an uncommon usage to describe a tiny sliver of light between two surfaces, which the reporter sensibly though incorrectly interpreted as implying the more common usage of damage to the metal itself. Fortunately we had several people with skills in both languages present to work through these problems. One curiosity: none of the educated Chinese speakers in the room knew the word for rudder or ailerons in Chinese. Considered technical knowledge? Or is it because private aviation has been forbidden in Taiwan and most of them grew up in an environment without private pilots?

Michael will be releasing all 23 of his photos covering the last 13 seconds of two men's lives soon, pending a review of certain aspects by UDN. Our experience with the two reporters was totally positive: information we put in the public domain was used, information we did not want put in the public domain was not mentioned in the newspaper. It was quite gratifying to see such restraint and respect. I hope to have many more experiences like that with the local media.


MJ Klein said...

funny about those terms, huh? Ms. Wang impled that she didn't know them because she was female and refered us to Mr. Huang. he didn't know those terms either. overall, with the exception of the designation "5371" and the fact that my Chinese name is not a transliteration, the article is great and they did an admirable job.

Unknown said...

I would like to comment on the technical word such as Aileron or Rudder. I doubt normal people would know those word in Chinese. I knew those word in Elementary School because I was die hard flight simulator addict.

My commencement is on June 9th! I can't wait!

Cal Poly Pomona

Tim Maddog said...

Although the jargon might be a tad too technical for some people, anyone with, say, access to would be able to locate the definitions for aileron [(飛機的)副翼] and rudder [(飛機的)方向舵] in a minute or so. It's what I do when I don't know a word.

Tim Maddog

Prince Roy said...

you were right Michael, the massive interest generated in ths Taiwan online world towards MJK's site (and deservedly so), shows me just how puny the Englsih Internet scene is in Taiwan.