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Brawl on the Metro: Where was the coverage?(译文评析)

(2010-11-06 23:59:32)
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翻译评析

杂谈

Brawl on the Metro: Where was the coverage?

华盛顿邮报错失地铁斗殴事件报道良机

By Andrew Alexander

Ombudsman
Sunday, August 15, 2010

安德鲁·亚历山大

政府调查专员

2010年8月15日 星期日

1. Post managers, from the top down, regularly remind the newsroom that coverage must have a "for and about Washington" focus. So when a large brawl broke out in the Metro system on a recent Friday night, it seemed a perfect chance to show local readers that The Post is their indispensable source for news.

华盛顿邮报的管理者们自上而下无一例外地经常提醒新闻编辑室:报道一定要以“为了华盛顿而报道华盛顿”为重心。所以,本周五晚在地铁内爆发的大规模的斗殴事件似乎是邮报向当地读者展示其在新闻来源方面不可或缺地位的绝佳时机。

2. The fracas occurred near midnight on Aug. 6, and authorities said it involved as many as 70 people. It started at the Gallery Place Station and continued to the L'Enfant Plaza Station. There were arrests, and several people landed in the hospital. On deadline, The Post gathered enough information for a news brief in Saturday's paper, and a short story was quickly posted online.

此次斗殴开始于6日午夜,从画廊站一直持续到郎芳广场站,当局宣布该事件牵涉70人之多。多人被逮捕,数人被送往医院救治。直至截稿之时,邮报已为星期六版的新闻概要获取足够信息,并且事件简要经过已在第一时间于网上发布。

3. Throughout Saturday, it was among the most-viewed stories on the Web site, signaling intense reader interest. But as the day wore on, some readers grew frustrated that there was nothing more.

星期六当天,该事件是访问数量最高的事件之一,说明读者对此事极为关注。但是当晚,一些读者因没有后续的报道而倍感失意。

4. "What, when, where, who and why?" District reader Robert W. Porter e-mailed me mid-afternoon Saturday. "For the life of me, I can't find an answer to any of the above questions. I expect better from The Washington Post."

星期六下午3点钟左右,华盛顿区读者罗伯特·W·波特给我发了一封电子邮件,他说:“到底是什么时候在哪里什么人之间发生了什么事情,原因是什么,这些问题我无论如何也找不到答案。我希望邮报能给我解答。”

5. When a story for Sunday's paper finally did appear, it offered little new. Promoted on the front page and tucked at the bottom of Sunday's Metro section, it didn't answer key questions: What caused the fighting? Were the people who were injured participants or bystanders? Was Metro beefing up security?

星期日的报纸尽管对此事件进行了完整报道,但已成旧闻。(或者:当周日版对此事件的完整报道刊登出来的时候,读者已经找不到什么新鲜内容了。)此事件出现在头版,却被放在了最下端的星期日地铁板块中,而且没有回应那些关键问题:引发争斗的原因是什么?受伤的人是肇事者还是旁观者?地铁方面是否在加强安全措施?

6. Why such thin coverage? Much of the explanation is that The Post responded with too little, too late.

对此次报道不力所做出的解释多数是邮报对该事件重视不够,回应过晚。

7. As is typical on weekends, only three local reporters were on duty that Saturday, and two of them were summer interns with other assignments. In years past, before staff cuts, it would have been double that. The lead role fell to Ann E. Marimow, a seasoned full-time reporter. But she also had been on a morning assignment and wasn't given the brawl story until she arrived in the newsroom after 1 p.m. Even with others trying to locate eyewitnesses through social media Web sites, it was expecting a lot for her to produce a meaningful story in just a matter of hours.

按周末的惯例,星期六那天只有三个记者当班,其中两个是暑期实习记者且被分配其他任务。过去几年中,因为公司不断裁员,否则周末的值班记者不会那么少。所以在那天,重任便落在在了经验丰富的全职记者安·E·玛丽牟的一个人的肩上。但她也只是负责早间新闻部分,直到下午一点钟后她才被安排报道斗殴事件。其他人员努力通过网络寻找目击证人,希望她能够在几个小时内对事件进行深入报道。

8. So with a local news staff of about 70 reporters, why not call in reinforcements? Robert E. Pierre, the weekend editor for local news, said he saw no need. "It wasn't about additional people," he told me, noting that social media searches and an online appeal for witnesses had yielded little. And, he added, "the police didn't have very much," and what little information they disclosed was sketchy. The size of the crowd was in question, he said, and police couldn't say how many were actually brawling.

那么在有大约70位地方新闻记者的情况下,为什么不派人增援呢?地方新闻周末版编辑罗伯特·E·皮埃尔说他不认为有此必要。他告诉我:“并非是增派人员的问题。”他指出通过大众媒体搜索和在线呼吁寻找目击者的收效甚微,“警方也没有找到多少目击者”,而且警方所披露的少量信息也只是轻描淡写。参与人数悬而未决,警方没能说明参与斗殴的实际人数。

9. Pierre also worried about hyping a story that involved race. Although The Post's coverage on and after Sunday did not specify the racial makeup of those involved, many readers assumed they were black and offered racially insensitive online comments. "So ghetto," read one. Another urged ending "all welfare benefits for parents whose little animals cause this type of mayhem."

皮埃尔对该事件所牵涉的种族问题的大肆渲染感到担忧。尽管邮报在星期日及其后的报道中没有明确肇事者的种族构成,但是很多读者猜测他们是黑人并在线发表了具有种族倾向的恶意评论。其中一位说:“是贫民区的人干的。”另外一位则极力主张“停止为那些肇事的小畜生们的父母发放政府福利津贴。”

10. When The Post finally produced a more substantive story for Monday's paper, Pierre believes it was given too much prominence, even though it included eyewitness descriptions of multiple fights and bedlam as people tried to escape the pandemonium. The Post "overplayed it," said Pierre. "It was a fight on the Metro. Kids get into fights."

当邮报在星期一的报纸中刊登了对该事件的最终报道时,皮埃尔认为,即便报道中有目击者对争斗以及人们努力逃离现场的混乱场面的描述,邮报对此事的报道也有夸大之嫌。皮埃尔说:“邮报夸大了该事件的严重性。尽管孩子牵涉其中,那也只不过是发生在地铁里的一次一般性的争斗而已。”

11. The Post should always be sensitive to overplaying stories, especially if race is involved. But the problem here was that readers last weekend couldn't get news they desperately wanted about what police said was a massive brawl on the public transit system used daily by hundreds of thousands of people. The hedge against overplaying the story was to get to the bottom of it, and fast.

邮报总是很善于夸大事件的严重性,尤其在涉及到种族问题的时候,这本是无可厚非。但是现在的问题是上周末关于警方所说的在每日有数十万的乘客来往的公共交通系统——地铁内发生的大规模斗殴事件,读者们没能读到他们急于了解的新闻。避免夸大事件严重性的方法就是在最短时间内了解事件的始末。

12. The best approach would have been to call additional players off the bench to do what resourceful reporters do: hunt for facts. They might have come from interviewing those hospitalized, from transit workers, from expanding the search through social media or from the cop who has viewed Metro video.

最佳的方法应是增派人员去做那些机敏的记者所做的事情:寻找事实。这些事实本能通过很多途径获取,如采访被送往医院救治的人员或地铁工作人员,扩大大众媒体的搜寻范围,或采访看过地铁录像的警察。

13. Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli seemed to agree. "Frankly, it was hard to get anything," he said. "But if we had more people, we could have perhaps tracked down more participants."

责任编辑马可斯·布劳迟里似乎同意上述看法。他说“老实说,很难获取什么信息。但如果有更多人手,我们或许能找到更多参与者。”

14. With the "for and about Washington" strategy so critical to retaining The Post's local readership -- especially readers of the week's largest newspaper -- this was a lost opportunity. My bet is that more reporters, deployed sooner, would have provided readers what they needed last Sunday. What they got instead was, well, not much.

对维持邮报在当地报纸中的领导地位——尤其是维持每周最大发行量的报纸的读者,“为了华盛顿而报道华盛顿”这一策略则至关重要,所以可以说邮报错失了一次良机。我敢说,如果上周日早点调动人员的话,一定会有更多的记者为读者提供他们所需要的信息。然而读者所得到的却是失望。

Andrew Alexander can be reached at 202-334-7582 or at ombudsman@washpost.com. For daily updates, read the Omblog.

拨打电话202-334-7582或在ombudsman@washpost.com.可与安德鲁·亚历山大联系。

更多每日更新信息,请查阅Omblog.

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