Last Friday, CBC reporter Megan Batchelor was interrupted on camera by a 17-year-old boy while reporting on the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
The teen, identified as Daniel Davies, ran up to Batchelor and gave her a kiss on the cheek while she was reporting live from the festival. And although she managed to continue with her report, the incident left her shaken and angry, causing her to file a complaint with RCMP.
Davies has since apologised for his behaviour, reaching out to Batchelor on Twitter. According to CBC he said, “At the moment I thought it was kind of a joke, then I stepped in your shoes, that’s when I kind of realised that it all was not a joke at all. That’s your career — obviously it’s also your body and you have complete control of that and without anyone else’s consent, they do not have the right to do anything to anyone.”
Batchelor graciously accepted his apology and has remained a consummate professional throughout the entire incident. However, what happened last week highlights a much bigger issue: the way journalists are being abused and taken advantage of while on air. This can range from people saying vulgar things to them, to being inappropriately groped.
The kiss wasn’t the reason Batchelor was so upset. Rather, it touched on a problem becoming all too common within the press these days: unwanted interruptions when she was trying to do her job.
“As much as I’m not physically hurt, I’m rattled,” she said. “I was just doing my job when this happened and I feel like he deliberately tried to interfere with my ability to do my job just for a laugh,” she said, according to the Huffington Post.
The incident is part of an alarming number of news interruptions across Canada. And it’s time that people realised that this behaviour is completely unacceptable.
“This is a problem that is affecting too many of my colleagues,” Batchelor said. “I get that reporting live comes with risks but I don’t think one of them should be people who don’t think how their actions affect other people. Their amusement shouldn’t have to come at the expense of reporters.”
Watch the video of what happened below.