Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Home
BE MY MIRROR MY SWORD AND SHIELD
By Cool Han

"Yes, I have been a journalist for the past 20 years. This is the third Olympic Games I am covering. I have attended the 1996 Games in Atlanta, USA; 2004 Games in Athens, Greece and now in Beijing.” Michael Bascombe, the press attaché from Grenada National Olympic Committee (NOC) introduced himself to me when I first saw him outside the gate of Olympic Village on a torrid August afternoon. 
                      
The 38-year-old had a pair of sunglasses and a big smile on his face. A veteran reporter like him who works as correspondent for the Associated Press (AP) and the BBC Caribbean Service, Michael seemed quite satisfied with his new job title: Press Attaché, which included a series of works like answering journalists’ enquiries, monitoring and liaising with the media in and outside the Olympic Village, arranging press conferences, news briefings, media interviews and so forth. A sword and a shield are same in nature, but this time, Michael chose to be the shield instead of sword, though most of the time he remains a nipping sword.

Actually this is Michael’s second visit to Beijing—he was here in May for the Congress of the International Sports Journalist Association (AIPS). At that time, he had experienced something unusual in Beijing. “I felt uncomfortable while visiting Tian’anmen Square when I noticed a few men keeping me in their sights everywhere I go until I returned to the Beijing Hotel.” But I believe he understood reason for such a high level of security as well as China’s efforts to make a new Beijing and great Olympics.

And Michael never hesitated to praise 29th Beijing Olympic Games especially these volunteers he met and made good friends of. “From the Olympic Village to the competition venues I experienced a group of people who were serious about ensuring that participants and spectators enjoyed the Games. I believed that BOCOG must the highly commended for an almost flawless Games. I enjoyed every bit of the time here. Three cheers to BOCOG! And the volunteers were running over themselves to provide assistance, and many times went beyond their call of duty to ensure that we were satisfied.”

What about the inconvenience and difficulty he had encountered in the village? Michael thought for a while and said: “My only disappointed was the lack of available wireless internet in the dormitories. While the internet café provided that service free of cost I think the convenience of having it in your room would have been ideal.”

If you ask Michael about background of Grenada’s 29th Olympiad participants, you find the right person. Yet to win an Olympic medal, Grenada's best performance came at the 2004 Athens Games in athletics. In 2004 Athens Alleyne Francique (a name frequently appeared in Michael’s sports report) made the final of the men's 400m, finishing fourth behind a trio of athletes from the United States in the final. Hazel-Ann Regis also made the semifinals in the women's 400m in Athens. But maybe for these athletes medal is not the ultimate goal—to enjoy the sports and the competition, to experience the unique and fascinating Chinese culture are more meaningful and treasurable memories.

Michael is also the President of the Media Workers Association of Grenada (MWAG). “In Grenada we enjoy the real freedom of press. As journalists I can write whatever I want to say.” Well it’s good to enjoy the freedom of media, but politics is too intricate a thing to make simple contentions. There are always different voices everywhere, no matter in Grenada or in China.

In an open letter to his media colleagues of Grenada, Bascombe expressed his disappointment with the coverage given by the media to political scandal. “You gain respect not by any politician or political party but by the public—regionally and internationally. It’s that simple.” And he claims: “Indeed for the media in Grenada to remain free, we call on the government to set up an independent body to review and issue radio licenses, based on a broad policy that is published and understood by all the players.”

That’s him—Sharp, observant and earnest—No matter as a reporter or Press Attaché. Actually on the list of high-risk careers, Journalist ranks NO.1 of suffering from psychological distress (the heartbreaking news of being the sword). Sometimes it drives reporters crazy to write a good report before deadline. They feel tired, bored and upset when they fail to make it out. So it's amazing that Michael has been a reporter for such a long time with passion and love. What’s the secret behind his success? His answer is simple but powerful: “You need to like what you do.” Yes “do what you love” and “love what you do” are two totally different attitudes towards work, as well as life. When Michael chose to like what he does as a journalist, he definitely found the key to living a happy and meaning life.

Besides athletes and sports, I bet you also have little knowledge of Grenada, the island country in Caribbean, if not because of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Grenada is called The Spice Isle since it is a leading producer of several different spices. Tourism is another thing Grenadians are proud of. The 3 Km long Grand Anse Beach in St. George (Capital) is considered to be one of the finest beaches in the world, and often appears in countdowns of the world’s top 10 beaches.

Small is beautiful—that’s the beautiful island country of Grenada. But when Michael made the decision to relocate himself to New York, what’s the idea hovering in his mind? “There are a number of reasons for relocating to the United States. Family is among the top priority. I enjoy staying around my family especially my two lovely daughters – Michaela 12 and Micah 9 and my wife Hazel of 15 years.”They are the inspiration in my life.” “Additionally,” Michael smiled, “it opens new opportunities to me - covering the United Nations and other high-profiled events in the United States and around the world. However, I am very much connected to my homeland – visiting as many as 10 times a year, sometime more.”

And probably it is the beautiful island that cultivated Michael into a man of patience, passion and optimism. In ancient China there is a saying goes that “if you take a person as mirror, you are able to distinguish clearly between right and wrong”. For Michael’s case, he serves as a mirror to those who’d like to be either journalists or Press Attachés, for he is a sword and shield simultaneously. However, it’s nothing about right and wrong—just two sides of one story.
做我的明镜我的利剑我的盾牌

“没错,我已经做了20年记者了。这时我第三次参加奥运会了。96年的亚特兰大,04年的雅典还有这次,北京。” 来自格林纳达国家奥委会的新闻官麦克•伯斯康比对我作自我介绍。第一次见到他是在北京八月一个闷热的午后,奥运村门口。

38岁的他带着墨镜,笑容灿烂。曾经为美联社和英国广播公司加勒比频道工作过的他可算得上是位资深记者了。不过麦克看上去更对自己的新职位很满意。这份工作需要新闻官回应记者的提问和请求,随时和奥运村内外的媒体保持联系,组织新闻发布会,吹风会和采访之类。剑和盾牌在本质上是一样的,但是这次麦克选择了盾牌而非利剑。

实际上这已经是麦克第二次来北京了。五月份的时候他来参加国际体育记者联合会的一个会议。那次他在北京的经历有点特别。“我参观天安门的时候感到很不舒服,因为有些人一直在监视我,直到我离开广场回到北京饭店。”但我相信他可以理解北京安保程度如此之高的原因,以及中国政府想要展示给世界一个新北京和新奥运的决心。

对于第二十九届北京奥运会和他接触过的志愿者们,麦克毫不吝惜赞美之词。“从奥运村到各个竞赛场馆,我感受到所有人都在全身心投入工作,保证观众和观赛者可以享受运动之美。我想北京奥组委一定会因为举办了一届举世无双的奥运会而受到广泛的赞颂。我十分享受自己在这里的每一秒钟。北京奥组委,好样的!而这些志愿者们所做的一切已经远远超出了他们的职责,为了保证我们满意,他们付出了百分之二百的努力。”

那么在奥运村他有没有感到不方便,遇到过一些麻烦呢?麦克想了想回答说:“唯一美中不足的是公寓里无法使用无线网络。居住区的公共网吧提供免费上网服务自然很好,但要是能在自己的屋子里无线上网就更方便了。”

如果你问起麦克关于格林纳达奥运体育代表团中运动员的背景信息,那可是找对了人。格拉纳达至今还未曾取得过奥运奖牌,他们在奥运会上的最好成绩是在2004年雅典奥运会的田径项目上取得的,当时阿列内•弗朗西科(一个在麦克的体育报道中频繁出现的名字)闯入了男子400米的决赛,最终位列三位美国选手之后取得第四名。但也许对这些运动员而言,奖牌并不是终极目标—享受竞技运动和体育比赛的乐趣,体验让人着迷的中国文化将会成为更有意义和更宝贵的回忆。

麦克是格林纳达媒体工作者协会的主席。“在格林纳达我们享有真正的新闻自由。作为新闻记者,我可以自由地按照自己的意志发表言论。”媒体的自由很宝贵,但是无论在哪里,政治都太过复杂,难用三言两语说清。不同的声音无处不在,中国还是格林纳达都一样。

在一封写给新闻界同仁的公开信中,麦克表达了他对于国内媒体报道一起政治丑闻事件的失望之情。“你(记者)是从公众那里,而非政客或者政党那里赢得尊重的。道理就是这么简单。”他还宣称,“为了让格林纳达的新闻自由得以继续,我们呼吁政府组建独立机构,以一种在新闻界通用的政策标准来审查并核发广播报道的权限。”

这就是麦克,锋利,敏锐而热忱—不论做记者还是新闻官都如此。实际上,在最危险的职业排行榜上,记者这个行业可是名列榜首的,因为这一人群是心理疾病发生的高危人群。(做利剑所要付出的代价)有时要在截止日期之前发出一篇满意的稿子简直让人抓狂。当不能按要求完成任务时,记者会疲惫,会烦躁,也会情绪低落。这样看来,麦克能在这一行业坚持20年依然热情不减,真让人惊诧。他成功的秘诀在哪里?他的回答简单而有力:“你要爱你所选。”的确,“选你所爱”和“爱你所选”完全是两种不同的工作态度,甚至是生活态度。当麦克选择干一行爱一行,并当了记者的时候,他其实已经找到了开启幸福人生的钥匙。

要不是因为这届奥运会,除了运动员和运动会,我猜你对格林纳达可能知之甚少。作为加勒比的一个岛国,格林纳达被称为香料之岛,因为当地生产各种香料,是世界上香料的一个主要输出国。而旅游也是让格林纳达人为之骄傲的一个名词。位于首都圣乔治岛三千米长的安塞海滩是世界上最好的海滩之一,经常出现在世界最佳海滩的前十名当中。

小既是美—这就是美丽的岛国格林纳达。但是当麦克决定依据美国纽约的时候,他脑中在想什么呢?“移居美国的原因很多,家庭是最重要的原因。我很享受我和家人呆在一起的时光,两个可爱的女儿,一个12岁一个9岁,还有结婚已经15年的妻子黑兹尔。她们给我力量和勇气。”“而且,美国的生活向我打开了另一扇窗—我有机会报道联合国和其他一些重要的美国国内和国际事件。然而,我对自己的家乡依然怀有很深的感情,每年差不多要回去十多次。”

也许正是这个美丽的小岛将麦克塑造成了一个耐心,乐观而充满激情的人。在中国有句古语:“以人为鉴,可以明是非。”用到麦克的身上,他给这些有志于从事记者和新闻官职业的人都了一个不错的表率,因为他既是利剑,又是盾牌。然而,这和是非无关,仅仅是一枚硬币的正反面而已。

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2008 20:48
 

Sponsor Ads