Monday, November 9, 2009

Baa, baa, baa. You don't have to be a Yale alum to bleat like a sheep

Sometimes I think news departments would be a lot better off if they didn't monitor other news organization.

You know the managers. Call them sheep, or lemmings. They don't act, they react. They wait for some other station to go wall to wall with some story (See: Boy, Balloon) and then they drop what they're doing and blow out the rest of the newscast.

Just because someone else thinks it's a story.

On the other side of the coin are the politically biased managers, who basically think, "If they're covering it, I'm not."

And now, with Hurricane Ida, it's a contest to one-up the other guys with coverage of the long awaited storm that has had Gulf Coast weather people treating it like the last available date for the Senior Prom.

I realize that most of you who read this aren't managers. (Well, the ones who send me comments aren't anyway.) But if you're a reporter who regularly looks to other news organizations for your story ideas, you might as well put a bell around your neck and join the rest of the flock.

And eventually, you'll get shorn just like the other sheep.

If you want to stray from the flock, you'll stand out.

Strive to be different. I've worked with a lot of great enterprising reporters who always had a knack for finding stories no one else had. I went to a party once and heard someone say, "I like that reporter. She always has interesting stories."

That should be you.

And if it is you, you'll get noticed when you look for a job.

Otherwise, you're nuttin' but mutton.

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