As a TV field reporter, you’ve been taught to laser focus. Whatever is going on around you, when you get in front of the camera doing what’s known as a stand-up, you’re trying to keep your eyes on top and your mind on the job. Sometimes, it can be a challenge. People may wave or jump and drag faces behind the camera. Spectators are yelling at you or honking their horns. There are a million things that get distracted while you’re pitching your pearls of wisdom to the camera, but you have to keep at it.
When intern Alvin Kaunda went to write a story in Sheldrake Wildlife Fund In Nairobi for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, he may not have expected so many challenges. The trust takes care of orphaned elephants and other wildlife, and it’s a fairly closed environment, seemingly without much possibility of interrupting your speech on camera. But looks can be deceiving.
Watch the video to see a reporter’s focus being crushed by a mischievous elephant.
Kaunda’s piece-to-camera style of work went well as he showed his audience how the charity cares about elephants. But then, the little elephants behind him became curious. Gradually, as their confidence grew, one of the elephants began to participate in the reporter’s position. To be fair to the rookie reporter, keep talking for as long as possible. But when the elephant started rubbing its head against its trunk, finally trying to seal its nose and mouth, Kaunda reached a breaking point and burst out laughing.
And I can sympathize with the young reporter. During my own visit to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that day, I also had a challenging moment. Speaking to the camera, I was spooked by the little unicorn. Alas, I didn’t keep a composure like Alvin Kaunda when I ran away! It wasn’t my finest moment in the broadcast, but I capitalized on my gaffes because the clip made it onto a UK bug show, which sent me a royal check every time it aired. We hope Kaunda has similar good luck as he handles elephant squashing like a pro!
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