An amusing (but true) story.
Recently took twins to nearby park. They play on swings and slides. I read a book. A local tv news crew arrives. They begin shooting b-roll of all the kids doing their park playin' thing. I wonder what news story is, but assume its a 'having fun in the summertime' piece. My son frantically runs around trying to get in background of the camera shots. For the most part, it's a losing battle.
My daughter comes over and sits beside me on the bench. Asks whether we will be on the news tonight. I know how tv works so direct her to pretend she and I are talking about something interesting as I see camera pan our way. We do some 'acting'. Camera rolls (flashing green light). Soon therafter, the reporter does her standup. Then crew wraps out and heads off. I find myself still wondering why they didn't come ask us if it was okay to film us, but whatever.
Its dinnertime. Everyone gathers around the tv for local newscast. And lead story is about a known sex offender who had abducted a couple of kids a few hundred miles north of us and was finally apprehended. Abducted kids seemed unharmed. A happy ending, all things considered.
And then the next story is about keeping children safe from sexual predators. And they go to footage of the park! And as the reporter talks about how danger lurks everywhere and kids need to be careful, we see shots of my children and other children frolicking around the playground...unattended. Hmmmm...
Now I'm sitting up straight...really beginning to worry where this news story is heading. And then they cut to me and my daughter sitting on the bench, the reporter voiceover says something along the lines of... "Sexual predators can be anyone and will prey on the innocence of children. It's up to us as parents to educate and inform our kids of the dangers out there and how to be safe."
Now, I know they were trying to portray us all in a positive light --- but depending on whether a viewer was paying attention or not, I could be perceived as the loving educating father...or the stalking sexual predator! I almost flipped a table and threatened to call the station to complain...but was talked down by my kids who were just so thrilled to be on tv, regardless of what was said.
Look, we all know that media plays with the pictures to tell the story they want to tell. Nevertheless, I still think they should have informed me what the report was about and asked permission to use us on camera.