My rant about Nick News!

Some of you have asked what happened to Dovís interview on Nick New√Ę‚ā¨¬¶

​In early April Nick News contacted me to say they were doing a program on autism and could they interview Dov and his brother and sister and some friends? Naturally I was delighted - I am glad for any opportunity to show the world how smart kids like Dov can be. The day of filming finally arrived and the Nick News crew spent about 6 hours at our house shooting. It was tedious as this sort of thing always is, but the kids were very patient and especially Dov, whom they interviewed last. When Dov began to type his answers on his LightWriter device it was quite an experience for the producer and the rest of the crew. Suddenly they saw Dov differently. One of the cameramen turned to Dov at the end and said: ĒIt was an honor to meet you.Ē He shook Dovís hand, obviously quite moved by Dovís extraordinary answers. The crew packed up their equipment and left and weeks passed. We kept getting e-mails from the producer Kara Pothier, about changes in the airdate, and we kept letting everyone know.

​Finally the night of the show arrived and Dov and Miriam and Gabriel and their friends and their parents gathered excitedly in our family room waiting to see the interviews.

​Okay, I have a show business background, so I am used to the idea that stuff ends up on the cutting room floor and I understand that most stuff is shot at a ten to one ratio and that 90% of coverage may not be used at all. And I know that six hours of shooting will most likely result in six minutes of footage that is actually used in a show like the Nick News program about autism. And I know you canít take it personally if you are in the show a lot less that you expected. I had warned the kids in advance of the shoot that their parts would probably end up being very small. But nothing prepared me for the moment when I realized the show was over and there had been nothing at all included of Dovís interview or the kidís interviews except a few seconds of B-roll at the beginning and end of the program. B-roll for anyone who doesnít know, is footage that is used between shots, usually to transition between clips.

​I felt bad for the kids, but I was furious for Dov. Itís not easy for Dov to type and he had spent the day anxious and wound up, waiting to be interviewed, and heíd tried so hard to control his behaviors and heíd given great answers. And I told him he was doing it all because it would help the world know that were lots of kids out there like him who were nonverbal and really smart.

​Couldnít Nick News have had the decency to let an autistic boy know that his interview would not be included in the program? I am still mad, and I am going to write to Linda Ehlerbee to complain. I think that by not letting Dov know that his interview would not be included in their program, Nick News demonstrated a deep lack of sensitivity toward children with autism and an even deeper lack of respect. I have requested the footage of Dovís interview or at the very least the transcript because his answers to their questions were so profound and I didnít even write them down, thinking theyíd be memorialized on Nick News. I have yet to receive a response to my request. End of rant!

​Best wishes, -Portia

Posted on 06/27/2007 at 02:12:28

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