Monday, August 3, 2009

Memo to beancounting GMs: Your next ND needs to be a photog

Imagine a clerk who works at the motor vehicle department but who has never driven a car, teaching driver's ed to young people.

Imagine someone who's never been out on a story running a news department.

Well, you have that all the time these days, as for some reason, people have gotten it into their heads that producers make the best News Directors.

When I got into the business, News Directors were all former reporters. It simply made sense.

And now that the business is changing, it makes sense that the News Directors of the future come from the photography ranks.

Why? Well, when I hear from reporters in entry level stations who are hired as one-man-bands and have no idea how to operate a camera, it just becomes crystal clear.

If consultants and bean counters are determined to keep the one-man-band thing alive, then it would make sense to have a news department run by someone who can teach reporters the basics of photography.

Over the years there have been a few photogs who have made the transition into management, but now it's time for stations to start looking at this logically and seriously considering photogs for ND positions. They have two qualities most needed these days: they've been in the field and they know how to shoot.

And for you photogs out there who have been wondering what's the become of you, perhaps it's time to start applying for jobs in management.

You guys might actually save what's left of the business.

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

worked for an photog-turned-n.d. a few years back.

best experience of my career.

the guy understood the business, storytelling, and everyday logistics, and when things got short around vacation time, he actually operated live trucks.

i would have walked through fire on rusty razor blades for that dude. nothing like working for someone who had been through it ALL.