Worldwide Scoop on Ex-Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra

May 2008, while interning at the Associated Press Television Network (Beijing), I was asked to follow a Sports News Television cameraman Nicky Zhu for a story. SNTV is an APTN (Beijing) affiliate. SNTV had received a tip-off that day that ex-Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was in Beijing for a night to attend the opening ceremony of a golf course in the outskirts of the city.

Thaksin was owner of soccer team Manchester City, and news was rife at that time that he was about to fire soccer coach Sven-Goran Ericksson but Thaksin made no public notice of it. The video I co-produced marked the first public comment Thaksin made on this latest development, and SNTV scored a worldwide scoop with it.

Nicky, the cameraman, and I staked out this golf course for the whole day to wait for Thaksin to appear at the event. The event began at about 8pm, and Nicky and I went in together with all the other reporters, who were there to cover the opening ceremony, to wait for Thaksin to arrive. He walked down the red carpet to initial on a board organizers put up for guests to sign on. Once he turned around to head towards the dining hall, I stepped up and pointed the microphone towards him and just fired off the questions that Nicky and I had prepared earlier on in the day. Silence fell on the crowd instantly as they were caught unawares by the questions we were asking. They soon caught on our lead though, and tried to catch what was the tail-end of the interview. Once my brief five-minute interaction with him was over, Nicky and I headed back to APTN’s office at top speed, and the video was beamed to London, where SNTV’s headquarters was located, by 9.30pm.

The video can be found here on BBC’s website, together with the related article.

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