So, I must tell you about my wife’s latest scoop. She’s a news anchor and a reporter at a local tv-station in Stockholm, TV4 Stockholm. Hong Kong-based MTR won the biggest public bid in Swedish history a couple of years ago and has since been running the Stockholm subway. But ever since, whistle-blowers has been [...]
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So, I must tell you about my wife’s latest scoop. She’s a news anchor and a reporter at a local tv-station in Stockholm, TV4 Stockholm.
Hong Kong-based MTR won the biggest public bid in Swedish history a couple of years ago and has since been running the Stockholm subway. But ever since, whistle-blowers has been telling the same story; things aren’t what they should be.
Some time ago, Lisah took action on some of the stories her sources confided in her. It was stories on employee safety and cover-ups and it resulted in several news stories that got picked up by most major national news outlets. But it didn’t stop there. She kept asking questions and found out that safety was disregarded because of a bonus system. If the trains were running, big rewards from public finances were handed out. If the trains didn’t run, large penalty fees struck MTR.
So the trains were kept in traffic even if they weren’t safe. And so a couple of days ago, she uncovered documents showing that a train with big cracks in the middle were kept in traffic for over a month. The MTR spokesperson denied knowledge and said their internal audits proved otherwise. The next day, Lisah could show documentation that MTR did know about it, but kept the train in traffic anyway. Even though it could have broke in half. She also had documentation showing ten other trains with cracks so severe they could have resulted in personal injuries and deaths were still in traffic.
To make matters worse, MTR neglected to report these flaws to SL right away, and Lisah had the documentation and the interviews to prove this as well. So SL contacted Lisah yesterday thanking her for bringing these circumstances to light and gave her the exclusive on a new story: SL will now make a public investigation of MTR and their capabilities. Since MTR won the biggest public bid in Swedish history, this was of course big news.
In what must be described as a tactical effort, MTR then released a press release welcoming the audit before SL – via Lisah – could go public with the story, probably to proactively lessen the explosiveness of it. But Lisah kept her head cool and instantly released everything that she had to the wire services who immediately picked up on it and ran the story wide. She got her interview with SL when the public interest peaked and so the MTR tactic backfired.
I’m so very proud and impressed. At the very least, Stockholm will get a safer subway. SL and MTR must find out why so many MTR employees turns whistle-blowers and why document after document proves that safety routines are being neglected. Of course I’m biased, but I think it’s time for TV4 to promote her. I might not now all there’s to know about journalism, but I know passion and talent. She’s destined for big things in broadcast journalism.
But next week I guess that MTR can focus on fixing their problems instead of worrying about new scoops on their expense, because then Lisah will spend her time with me in our New York apartment. I can’t even grasp it sometimes, but however gifted she is as a reporter and news anchor, she’s even more unbelievably amazing as the best wife and the best friend a man could ever have.
- How to scoop the media by going social (thegoodthebadthespin.com)
This post was published by Jerry Silver on April 21, 2011.
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