My Experience of Filming and Reporting Entertainment News

Ye Wei

PureInsight | September 12, 2005

[] I became a volunteer for an independent, nonprofit Chinese language TV network that supports Dafa. I hope to make a contribution to public education. I feel that society's morality has become very degenerate and traditional culture has almost become extinct. Consequently, today's people no longer know how to tell right from wrong, good from evil or distinguish the beautiful from the grotesque. The news media have made these problems worse. I also feel the media, as a major means of education, have a huge impact on people. I decided to work for a TV network with a similar vision and objectives in order to educate people on the genuine, moral culture mankind should have and to help restore people's moral values.

My role as a volunteer involves producing an entertainment news program. It is one of my functions to film and report entertainment news in Taiwan. Shortly after I started, I began to doubt the value of reporting entertainment news. The show and entertainment business? Isn't that the most degenerate business of all? Aren't many entertainment celebrities leading very immoral lifestyles? Many so-called stars haven't received any solid training; they shout and yell on stage and call it singing. These stars are often trendsetters with their outlandish costumes, outfits, behavior and speech, which are negative influences over the young people. Aren't we supposed to be working for a righteous TV station that produces only righteous programs? Why do we want to film and report these entertainment celebrities' activities?

I remember I once went to shoot a live concert in Taiwan. From the very bottom of my heart, I resented having to cover the concert. I felt very disturbed when I watched the singer dressed in degenerate outfits, wearing a degenerate hairdo, dancing with degenerate movements and shouting out degenerate lyrics. There was nothing about the singer or the singer's performance that could be qualified as respectable behavior of a human being. I felt even more disturbed to see about 20,000 to 30,000 audience members shouting and dancing with the music. What has happened to those people? Today's people are truly pitiful. After I shot the live concert, I specifically told the fellow practitioner responsible for editing not to use the footage of the degenerate live performance. After a few days, I went to our TV website to watch this week's episode only to find that the footage from the live concert was still included. I found it very disturbing. Why did they insist on reporting such a degenerate event? I talked to another fellow practitioner who is also a volunteer for the same TV station and asked her what our reporting standard is and what types of entertainers we should and should not report. She told me, "As long as an entertainer is not opposed to Falun Gong or its principles of 'Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance' and as long as he/she does not defend or support the evil Chinese Communist Party, we may report news about him/her. As for entertainers' private lives, we will not pass judgment for now." It was not until then that I realized that the TV station's reporting standard were quite different from mine. Aren't the non-profit media supposed to bring people the feeling of beauty and righteousness?

This incident got me started on searching inward looking for any flaws in my own beliefs. Soon I realized that I had been filtering entertainment news according to my own likes and dislikes as an everyday person. I also realized that I had a strong attachment to altering mankind's existing culture. I only thought of bringing people genuine, moral culture via the media outlet, but I had forgotten to consider the issue from the perspective of the Fa-rectification.

During the Fa-rectification period, Falun Gong practitioners must fulfill the mission to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution of Falun Gong in order to bring Teacher's salvation to mankind. It follows that when we produce programs for our media, we are supposed to make it as the number-one priority to clarify the truth and save the world's people. We are only taking advantage of TV as a medium to clarify the truth, and we must conform to ordinary society's forms in order to be effective. Today's people are attracted to degenerate stars and degenerate performances. If we always create TV programs based on our standards as cultivators, everyday people will find it difficult to enjoy our TV programs. If everyday people don't like our TV programs, they won't have the chance to watch our truth-clarification TV programs and we won't be able to attain the goal to save sentient beings with our TV network.

After some deliberation, I now have a better understanding on this issue. How many fans does a local star have? How many fans does an international star have around the world? Nowadays the show and entertainment business has become a part of almost every person's life. Our coverage of these stars on our entertainment news program will give our TV station a lot of publicity. People will learn about our TV station through these entertainment reports. When these audiences tune in to our TV channel, they will have opportunities to watch our truth-clarification programs and, thus, opportunities to be saved. These stars might have made a pledge to play such a role in order to help more everyday people tune in to our TV channel. Perhaps they do not know the truth of their origins yet, but when we go shoot footage about their activities, we will have opportunities to clarify the truth to them in person. By reporting their news, we will also help them fulfill their historic mission to help save the sentient beings in the Fa-rectification period.

In addition, too many everyday people's media outlets receive funds from the Chinese Communist Party. Therefore, their reporters have received a lot of misinformation about our media from the Chinese Communist Party. When we interview the stars, we will also have opportunities to interact with reporters from other media outlets. Many reporters have asked us, "Oh, New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV)! Isn't that Falun Gong's official mouthpiece on TV? Isn't NTDTV being funded by western governments?" During the conversations with other media outlets' reporters, we can clarify a lot of misinformation that the Chinese Communist Party has given them. We may also take the opportunity to explain that the success of NTDTV comes from a large group of volunteers and the fact that a TV station with a lot of volunteers who are Falun Gong practitioners does not make it a "Falun Gong's mouthpiece."

There are some issues we the volunteers often discuss: Should we or should we not produce programs related to entertainment? It is really a challenge because we are not very seasoned reporters and we are not very interested in entertainment news ourselves. How should we treat entertainment news? If we report on degenerate stars, will we create a bad influence on everyday people? From time to time, I ask myself whether I should spend my valuable time on our entertainment programs. But after I received the audience's feedback on our entertainment program, I let go of my doubts. According to our survey, our entertainment program has a very high rating. On our TV station's website, this program has the highest hit rate. Some audience members have told us that they learned about NTDTV after they watched our entertainment news program and that they feel we have a very unique reporting standard and a unique way of reporting news.

Because the majority of NTDTV's staff members are Falun Gong cultivators, our elevated levels of morality are naturally reflected in the content and quality of the TV programs. It follows that we are able to present the same news in a good, kind and meaningful way. Based on the feedback, the audience likes our angle. It is a pity that many everyday people's media outlets, in their blind pursuits of advertisement sales and ratings, purposely distort their programs to excite the audience's senses. The audience has no other choices but to watch those programs as nearly every TV channel broadcasts such programs. In the entertainment business, Falun Gong practitioners' involvement will definitely set good examples for everyday reporters and gradually improved the environment of the entertainment business. On the other hand, if no one with a pure, righteous mentality is willing to be involved in the entertainment business, it is going to keep going downhill. Besides, no one can escape entertainment news nowadays. With the entertainment news, we will have a lot of opportunities to contact many businesses and corporations to solicit advertisements. Many consumer products companies, corporations and fashion merchandise businesses like to have celebrity stars to represent their products. As a global TV network, how can we neglect these businesses? Aren't these opportunities to interact with the sentient beings?

Translated from:

Add new comment