This is the tale of one of the more ridiculous things that happened to me when I worked in Channel 5 TX.
Saturday, 14th December, 2013. I’m sitting at home, preparing for my first day back in work after a short illness. It’s live BAMMA coverage that evening – mixed martial arts, which usually involves the floor being entirely smeared with blood by the end of the night – and I decide to have a look at BAMMA’s Twitter feed to see what’s going on.1
So, I scroll down their feed… and something catches my eye. Something horrible. I reproduce it below – but I’ve had to blur out the relevant bits, I’m afraid. I’m sure you’ll understand when I tell you what they are.
BAMMA posted a photo of their running order for the night.2 A fun idea. Except… it included the name of the duty scheduler, their mobile number, and the direct telephone number of 5* TX. Quite apart from the privacy concerns to do with posting the scheduler’s details, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the menace somebody could cause with all this information.
As soon as I saw this, I immediately fired off an email to the relevant person3, and after a bit of faffing around, the tweet and accompanying Instagram photo magically disappeared. I’m not usually proud to get material removed from the net, and I personally would rather BAMMA’s Twitter feed had acknowledged the deletion of the photo rather than silently removed it, but I still consider it a result. A result that may well have meant a lot less ballache for TX and the on-call scheduler that night.
So if you’re running around posting photos to social media about your TV show or event… have a care. Especially if the confidential information is bang in the centre of your photo. Then you just look silly.
All TX ops should do a little research on the show they’re going to be working on. Not all do. To be fair, I did once find myself in the middle of a live sporting event and suddenly realised I didn’t know the scoring system. Never. Again. ↩
Yes, I’m also annoyed by the fact that the off-air time is 22:58:41, and not rounded down to 22:58:40. If I had my way, all schedules would be run entirely according to the anal side of my brain. ↩
Incidentally, the person I initially emailed couldn’t see it originally… because site-blocking policies prevented them from seeing the picture. All I can say is that anyone who thinks blocking any website from a PC in a TX suite hasn’t been thinking properly. You never know what you might need to look up in an emergency in this job. ↩