UNDATED--For a fourth year in a row, television news photographers woke up this morning looking forward to the week during which they are recognized for their hard work by reporters.
Yes, it's "take a photog to lunch" week, the seven day period that reminds reporters and anchors that without shooters, they're radio.
"It's a great reminder that we don't enjoy inhaling burgers while driving," said photographer I.B. Rolle, drooling over the advance reservation his favorite reporter had made at Red Lobster. "Though I'm not sure what the proper etiquette is regarding where to put my hands without a steering wheel in front of me."
Reporters often gush about the upgrade in video quality during the holiday week, noting that a well-fed photog is a happy photog. "The work of the photography staff was off the charts last year," said reporter Ivana Anchor. "This year I'm personally going all out and springing for dessert as well. I figure the sugar rush should result in a great live shot at five."
While the benefits of the program are numerous, there are those in the industry who fail to see the gesture as beneficial. Producers have made no bones about their displeasure, citing their frustration at not being able to make photogs jump at the drop of a hat. "That one hour we can't order them around is a killer," said Producer Anita Beer. "I complained to the Chief Photog last year, and he suggested I take the issue to the Human Resources Manager, Helen Dye. I brought it up again yesterday, and again he told me to, 'Go to Helen Dye.'"
The Society to Promote Humane Treatment of Photogs has issued a suggested menu for those wishing to participate in the program. "No fast food, no drive-thrus, no all you can eat buffets," said Society President Ray Cathode. "The photog must be taken to an actual restaurant at which the menus do not also serve as placemats. And I don't want to hear any reports about plastic utensils or rolls of paper towels on the tables in lieu of cloth napkins, either."