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Old 10-23-2016, 06:15 PM
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Default When did we become the bad guy?

I have a regular gig media training a group of 20 people at a time. It’s part of a bigger course, a reporter and I door stop individuals to see how they handle the pressure. As far as they know we are real TV. Then we play it back that night and they can see how they did.
This year I was stunned by the way some of them responded to us. Honestly you wouldn’t talk to a dog they way some of them spoke to us. There was one word answers there was patronizing smart ass answers but mostly there was contempt.
When I called them on it that night they felt that they had a right to be rude to us because we were the media. And apparently as far as they are concerned the media is now the bad guy.
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:40 AM
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To be fair and honest, there isn't much "journalism" going on in television news these days. Its just a bunch of over sensationalized BS. That's what I see from the networks all the way down to local TV here in the U.S. I know the priorities where I work are 1. Be LIVE no matter what and 2. keep the story to 1:15 or less. Nothing else seems to matter. We all know some stories can be very complex with a lot of information. Doesn't matter, needs to be 1:15 so a lot of important information gets left out and the story either doesn't make sense or we gloss over something really important and really don't tell the viewers anything. Or you get out on a story you've been assigned and find out its not a story but are forced to make it work anyway because we have a black hole to fill.

That being said, we really are the bad guys. I hear it all the time from viewers when I'm out on the street. I'm the one having to explain decisions I have no control over. It sucks. Sometimes reporters get frustrated when we can't get anyone to talk to us for a story and I always tell the reporter that I wouldn't talk to us either. How many times have you or your reporter called someone at 3:30 or 4p wanting answers about a complex story as that person is leaving work for the day and then get mad when that person can't or won't give you an on-camera interview right then and there for a story that night? We do it a lot and get mad when the person says they can talk tomorrow. Would you want to have to stay an hour or so to look up the information and wait on the TV crew to do an interview when you feel they've had all day to call you and do this but the station waits till the end of the day? I'd be pissed off too and would say no. Then we turn around and say something in the story like "so and so would not talk to us on camera today" making them look like the bad guy. Its ridiculous.

The absolute worse is when you interview someone and then get the script and you have sound bites butted up against each other that make the person seem like they said something they didn't. Or you pull a 6 second sound bite that takes the person completely out of context. Happens all the time. The kicker is getting back from your story then seeing a tease run, sometimes with a sound bite, that is completely and totally false and not what the story is about. Got to be sexy with those teases. To be clear, all of this happens at every TV station, not just where I work. I don't even watch TV news anymore because I know how much of a joke it is. Viewers notice too.

I've told my friends and family that if something happens and the tv cameras show up, do NOT say anything, not even to a reporter off camera because they might be recording audio and you not know it and next thing you know you're on the news when you didn't know they were rolling.

Honestly, its actually surprising to me that more TV crews haven't been the target of shootings here in the U.S. I feel its only a matter of time. I always have my head on a swivel expecting it to happen at any time.
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Last edited by svp; 10-24-2016 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 10-24-2016, 04:04 PM
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I can't think of a nice way of saying you are wrong but you are wrong. For every one "bad" story I bet I could show you hours of good.
Telling people not to talk to the media is stupid, especially when they poor their guts out on FB. If they don't tell their side then how do they expect us to represent their point of view fairly?
I happen to think we still do a good job and are a lot more trustworthy than social media. Fact checking FB is a full time occupation. In MSM TV news is still better than radio, whos motto has always been "Eventually accurate."
But all that aside. If we really were the bad guys they and you seem to think. How smart is it to be rude and disrespectful to a guy with a camera? They are giving me the power. While I like to think as a professional it wouldn't alter the way I treat them, but if I acted the way they expected me too I could make them look really bad.
Its like loading a gun, handing it to me and then giving me the finger as they walk off. How stupid is that?
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Last edited by cameragod; 10-24-2016 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:02 PM
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I actually have to agree with some of what SVP said. Remember, he's speaking from the perspective of how it is here in the US. I can't tell you how many times I've watched the late news and they gave me zero information in the package. They told me more in the 10 second tease going to break(which isn't much) than they did in the 1:15-1:30 story. A lot of times I'll end up being more confused AFTER the story. It's Fn amazing...
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:38 PM
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Cameragod, I also have to agree with SVP on this one. I do understand what you are saying and I do agree with you about the rudeness and disrespect. However TV news in the States is a joke. Now I can't speak for every market but in my area most seasoned Journalist have left the business for the exact reasons we are discussing now. Journalist being replaced with fresh out of college grads who spend more time on their phones fooling around with FB and Twitter than collecting the facts. A press release is all the info they need . I am shocked that news stations don't get sued on a daily bases because the majority of the stories that air are usually wrong. SVP what you described in your market is identical to mine.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:43 PM
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Well that's depressing, we still turn out a product that I'm proud of over here. I couldn't keep doing it otherwise.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:13 PM
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" I couldn't keep doing it otherwise"
Agree, most have gotten out. That's the main problem! Its a viscous cycle, experience leave and inexperience get hired. I'm located in a top 15 market and stations cannot find experience people nor do they want to pay for it . Its just not News. I saw the writing on the wall years ago. I switched to a Sports network and in the last 3 or so years it caught on here as well.
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Old 10-25-2016, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At the scene View Post
" I couldn't keep doing it otherwise"
Agree, most have gotten out. That's the main problem! Its a viscous cycle, experience leave and inexperience get hired. I'm located in a top 15 market and stations cannot find experience people nor do they want to pay for it . Its just not News. I saw the writing on the wall years ago. I switched to a Sports network and in the last 3 or so years it caught on here as well.
We were insulated from the crap for a short while, but it's TMZ everywhere, now. Granted, a lot of college and pro athletes are complete idiots in their "off the field" lives and give everyone the ammunition, but it's beyond just that. It's no longer "How good is the QB?", it's "What outfit is he wearing to the stadium on gameday and how will he dress during the post game press conference?". Hell, the twit pix the dotcom guy takes with his cell phone of the QB and what he's wearing at the podium gets more views and interest than almost anything we put on TV.

The money is what keeps me going at this point, but it has started to shrink, as well, with the ever "increasing quality" of cell phones and baby cameras.
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Old 10-27-2016, 07:27 PM
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Yeah, it has dissolved to breaking news and fluff for the most part... The local station has a "social media reporter." I guess I'm just too old. :>)
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:47 PM
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New formula:

Spicy headline
Twitter announcement
Reaction to Tweet
Unrelated fact
More from facebook.
I close browser because I didn't get any facts.

End of story.
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Old 10-31-2016, 03:22 PM
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I moved to government around 10 years ago because of a layoff at my Dallas station. I was real worried back then but its turned out to be great. I have more time to craft stories, as good or better equipment than I had there, not near the stress and no travel not to mention better pay. Its been great. I really don't think I would go back to news even though there are times that I still miss it.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:02 AM
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Here's the kicker, managers at these News stations know its a joke!!! Went to a going away event of a long time Anchor. News Directors from all 4 stations were all chatting on the table behind me. After a few cocktails the voices were getting louder and louder. Everyone agreed that the product is awful and cannot find experience candidates to fill the positions of those retiring or leaving the business. Complaining how these corporations are not willing to pay for experience that everyone is created equal. In their mind no one is good or bad all equals. In other words you are just a corporate number. Let's be real however its just not TV News its everywhere.
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Old 11-29-2016, 06:26 PM
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I left the news biz in 2008. Mostly, I don't miss it at all. I work for a production company now where I'm able to be MUCH more creative than when I was in news. Now, don't get me wrong... There's something to be said for learning to think on your feet, and pull off miracles with little time or resources. But I do enjoy the time I get to spend on a project now, to think through it, and to come up with something truly creative.

And I get paid more, so there's that.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:10 PM
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Agree. I went to production in 2009. It was teetering before then it was part of my decision.
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Old 02-04-2017, 02:21 PM
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I too agree with SVP. It's one reason I got out of news 10 years
ago. It was a total joke. So many things being done wrong, not
enough time to do them, management wanting us to work overtime
and not claim it, the whole 9 yards. Not only that, but I can run my
one man production company and do maybe 2 shoots a month and make
much more than I ever did in news. Good riddance.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:54 AM
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Not to pile on CameraGod, but I also am siding with SVP.

I decided to give up on Local News here in Vegas. When I started I worked with people who all had 10+ years experience. I was 30 and considered one of the young guys.

Now I cant name a photog over 50 and there are only two reporters in the market with over 10 years experience that I can think of.

I had to argue with many young reporters about how to even ask questions. It was common to hear, "I need you to say, blah blah blah, put that into your own words..."

Then it got worse. The reporters became MMJ's. Now they didn't even have someone with experience to tell them when they were doing something wrong. I was stuck shooting vosots and doing live shots. occasionally I was sent out to rescue an MMJ who couldn't get their story done and I had to crash edit some garbage to get it on the air.

Local news, at least in Vegas, isn't worth watching. I read articles on the web and twitter to find out what is going on.
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Old 05-02-2017, 01:01 PM
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Lats week was NAB in Las Vegas. We had the TV on in the condo when the local news came on. It was horrible. We watched in disbelief at the material on air. Like a slow train wreck, it hard to look away but we eventually shut the TV off. Sad to see.
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focused View Post
Lats week was NAB in Las Vegas. We had the TV on in the condo when the local news came on. It was horrible. We watched in disbelief at the material on air. Like a slow train wreck, it hard to look away but we eventually shut the TV off. Sad to see.
I have taken to doing this whenever I travel just to see. Sadly it is pretty much the same in most of the markets I have visited recently. Personally I don't find Dallas to be bad, same for OKC and ny and la are fine. The problem is most of the mid and small markets are quite bad even allowing for them being mid and small markets.

Unfortunately I think we are in for an industry wide contraction in terms of the number of either local stations or newscasts. Until local newsrooms stop trying to be 24hr network cable outfits, and accept who/what they are. Things will not change, you can't have quality if your people are each turning 2 pkgs and 5 vosots about what amounts to a cat up a tree.
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Thing on The Sticks View Post
Until local newsrooms stop trying to be 24hr network cable outfits, and accept who/what they are.
Oh, isn't that the truth. Since I left the biz I rarely watch a newscast. I just can't stand how bad it has become in my market. On election night I tuned into one of my old stations to see some local coverage. Curious about the House and Senate results. And naturally, they were on the air but doing national coverage, pretending to be a cable channel.

Then again, what should I expect? I'm in Louisiana and our on-air talent has a hard enough time learning how to pronounce words like "Coushatta" or "Natchitoches", or learning the difference between Natchitoches, LA and Nacogdoches, TX.
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