Learning & Visiting][Broadcasting teaching][Visiting BCC Formosa Network]
Interview with Director Cheng-ching Chen][Visiting the broadcasting museum]
Visiting the headquarters][Interview with host Mei-ren Yu][Visiting Fengyuan Station]

2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu

  2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(1)  2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(2)

    Introduction: WunDe Broadcasting Explore Team from Changhua County Fengyuan Township Wun De Elementary School participates in the 2009 Cyberfair, utilizing “Far-reaching world of broadcasting The Broadcasting Corporation of China” as its topic. For its sake, the team held a special interview with the most famous and beautiful radio broadcasting personality - Ms. Mei-ren Yu – for an in depth interview at BCC HQ inTaipei on Monday, January 19, 2009. Below is the transcript for reference:

Student: How are you, Ms. Yu? I’m Ting-wei Hsu. Because you host both TV and radio programs, what do you feel the biggest difference between them?

Ms. Mei-ren Yu: To me, radio program equals input and TV program equals output. I said that because for each radio program, I must learn and absorb much knowledge, which means I need a great deal of preparation. That’s why I feel that I’ve been absorbing knowledge and other things including things concerning the type of my program because I must interview many people. I learn so much from each person I interview. So after learning and absorbing everything, I can use the knowledge in my TV program. On my program, I don’t often have time to prepare a lot of materials, but I could still talk as if I had; all that is thanks to my studying and learning on radio program.

Also, another big difference is that for radio I don’t have to put on make-up but I have to put it on for TV programs, not to mention I need to style my hair well and I have to put on different outfits for different episodes. Last but not least, I don’t have to pay attention to my posture and expression. When I do radio program, I speak to the microphone and that’s it. So I feel at ease. In addition, I have to look over many people on a TV program, and so I have to spend much time on that. But when I’m doing radio programs, I can put all my focus on the topic at hand. That’s why the methods for running them [programs] are completely different.

 (The children of the host arrive on scene and the folks present were surprised with delight)

2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(3)  2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(4)

Student: Hi, I’m Min-ching Hsieh. As a radio host you probably encountered many interesting events. What was the most interesting event?

Ms. Mei-ren Yu: As for its effect, because I do live broadcast, our term is “LIVE”, which means it’s, well, live. So anything happened live, we can react right away.

  One thing that made deep impression on me was during the SARS outbreak in 2003. It was quite early and because we came to the studio early and it was our routine to watch the news. We had some time for news, so we saw immediately that Ho Ping Hospital was under quarantined. You guys probably don’t know about that because back then you were really young.

Ms. Mei-ren Yu asked the children: Do you know about SARS? Back then people were wearing face masks; there was a certain period of time people wore masks all the time.

Ms. Mei-ren Yu added: At that time, because there was an outbreak in Ho Ping hospital, and they were afraid to contaminate the general public and so that closed off the entire hospital. The entire hospital was sealed! I saw many nurses were crying and complaining that “they couldn’t leave” and all that. So when my program went live, immediately, I decided to open call-in because my program allows live call-in. We then opened all the call-in hotline to nurses in Ho Ping hospital because they couldn’t get out and I thought that the outside probably really wanted to know what’s happening to them inside. At that time, radio was the fastest media for any update…the most immediate media for that. So that when a nurse used the hotline for call-in, people from outside learned immediately what was going on inside? So I asked her: “What do you need?”  She said: “we have these twins whom are only 3 days old and the mother went home but the children are still in the hospital.” Their mother was going to put her breast milk in bottles and send bottles to the hospital for her babies. But the problem is that they [babies] couldn’t just leave the hospital immediately and they probably need to stay in intensive-care. There was nothing they [nurses] can do, and that mom didn’t have any milk left but the children must have mother’s milk. So she told me: “We need mother’s milk!”

  At the time, I was hoping the public could help with some resources…if we could offer any. Because she said: “We need mother’s milk.” Ms. Yu (looked at herself and laughed). “I already ran out!” I said. So we didn’t know how we could help. It turned out some of the listeners were moms whom just had their babies, one of them were inTaichung and two were inTaipei. The mom inTaichung was too far but there were two inTaipei. So after I got off the program, I took a taxi to go and get the milk because some mothers put their milk in the freezer; then I delivered it to Ho Ping Hospital and we helped to save those two little babies. So yeah, that was one of the most meaningful things in broadcasting; we could respond right away and gather the power of everyone and offer solution.

  During the 921 Earthquake, I was at another station; at that time a lot of people couldn’t watch TV. But radio? As long as you had batteries you could listen to radio. So Mr. Miao Yun-lai, the Magistrate of Taichung County at the time contacted me and immediately I asked: “What do you need in the disaster area?” He told me: “This is also related to milk.” But this time it wasn’t mother’s milk but milk powder.

Ms. Mei-ren Yu asked the children: “Adults can eat instant noodles but can little babies eat them? “

Children answered: “No! “

Ms. Mei-ren Yu continued: They needed milk powder to make milk for the kids. Because the earthquake destroyed stores and there were no milk powder. I heard that and I couldn’t stop crying, I mean the little babies in the disaster area didn’t have milk, what to do? So I said on air that I needed 5 cars, empty cars (no cargo), and who could help me with that? Then the kind wife and partner of a transportation company owner called in and said: “I’ll supply you with 5, what are you going to do with them?” I said: “I want to get some milk powder and send to the affected area.” After getting five cars ready, I announced on air: “I need milk powder and some emergency supplies, please send them to UFO Radio.” After we got everything ready, I led the team and drove to the disaster area in Nantou.

Ms. Mei-ren Yu asked the kids: “Guess how many cars it took to ship all the supplies?”

 (Some of the children answered: 30, 20, 25, 40, 100! )

Ms. Mei-ren Yu continued: “At 1:30. I mean, I announced at eleven in the morning. At one-thirty, we had to announce: “Please don’t send any more supplies because we won’t be able to transport them all!” At 3 PM, our team took off – all 104 cars, including large trucks – large cargo trucks. We told everyone thank you but please don’t send any more because we didn’t have any car space available. But an owner of a certain shop called in: “Mei-ren, I’ll support you with 5 more, we can transport everything left!” He came with 5 cargo trucks. The result? He came and took one look at what we had and said: “Oh! No! We’ll never finish transporting all this! “

 So radio programs are different from TV programs. TV programs are prerecorded and radio program is live. So the real-time effect of broadcasting is very obvious. I feel that’s the biggest difference between radio and TV – for your reference.

2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(5)  2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(6)

Student: Hi, I’m Jun-hsian Hsu. Could you tell me why you chose to be a radio broadcasting personality?

Ms. Mei-ren Yu: Well! It was an accident, through and through! Well, I feel I can share one thing with everyone here. So it doesn’t matter what job you will do in the future, I’ve got this to say: “All experiences in your life are useful.” So even if you go to 7-Eleven for a part-time job, you must be serious about it; study how your boss place things, study how your boss make the order? Make sure you DON’T think this way: I’m getting paid a little, so I’ll just do the minimal possible. That’d a great shame! You’re exchanging your life with money but not the precious experiences.

I got into broadcasting because I used to teach… I mean, I used to teach at a cram school and I’m used to speaking on microphone. Because I was teaching Mandarin, I had to train myself to quickly come to the point and also to train my ability to express. I had to train so that I could explain an odd passage or difficult to understand passage in order that the students could understand and could answer questions on exams. So my long-term training really helped my oral presentation and expression skill a great deal.

So at the time, it was by chance. Back then we had to go underground and find stations to express ourselves and then tell the…and because the military severely restricted broadcasting channels, so we told them that yes, there were other channels but you placed everything under severe restriction and didn’t allow us to use. So yeah, it was luck that some of my friends were in the business, and I joined them and I started my career.

I didn’t decide to be in broadcasting since the sixth grade, right, so I do my very best to learn in each and every job I’m involved. Then you’ll discover that the broadcasting personnel must be someone with a great deal of life experience. In order to have rich life experience, you must be serious on all your tasks. Maybe you won’t get praised; maybe you won’t get monetary payments, but you’ll gain experience for the rest of your life. You may not be able to use it for your next job, but you may be able to use it for your job after the next.

2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(7) 2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(8)

Student: Hi, I’m Hong-yu Hsu. Could you tell me what changes must be made in the broadcasting industry to attract more listeners?

Ms. Mei-ren Yu: Uh, it’s more like this. As the time goes on, so like, uh, let’s say you’re doing a music program and you cannot do what was done in the past; that is, only listing the popular chart. So like, you maybe introducing Jay Chou’s music but you’ll have to know the history of American rap and in addition, you may have to know about Japanese music. You must follow the zeitgeist of times and so you cannot just sit at home and study behind closed doors. You may have to do some surveys and learn what the listeners want? So currently, only the program is changing, because the future is all about internet. (The staff member onsite told us they will explain later)

     Internet may cause great changes…I’m trying to say that the real-time interaction quality doesn’t change but the advancement of receivers (earphones) will be significant. We now have: the changes that you’re talking about, we have been considering it. That means listeners, including those fromCanada, can listen to the broadcast online. So our programs can be heard by Taiwanese people all over the world; if they know when to listen.

As to what specific changes are needed in the future, well, I haven’t thought of anything in particular. But I’m afraid of being “extinct”.

After the meeting, both sides expressed their gratitude: Thank you! Thank you!

2009/01/19 – Special interview of the most popular broadcast personality on BCC - Ms. Mei-ren Yu(9)

Report of Visiting the headquarters