Monday, April 15, 2013

Mailbag: Don't tell, unless they ask

Should we market our MMJ experience to get into big markets? Is it worth it to MMJ in big markets? Will we ever just be reporters again, haha? 

First, consider the top request of nearly every one of my clients: "I don't want to shoot my own video anymore." (And yes, there are still plenty of quality shops out there that have photogs.)

As for your question, let's put it this way... you don't always need to be an open book. If you mention to a News Director that you can produce, guess what? At some point in the future, you'll get stuck producing a newscast. That said, you're a reporter first, and a photog second. If you tell a ND you're a great shooter, then he'll have no reason to ever assign you a photog.

Should you be asked if you can shoot, be honest. But if you want to be a reporter and avoid shooting your own stuff, don't put MMJ on your resume. Your job description is "reporter" and that's it. You don't put the fact that you write your own packages on your resume, why let people know you shoot them as well? When a ND first looks at a tape, he has no idea who shot the video.

There are big markets using one man bands, and it can be a foot in the door. But if you absolutely don't want a job that forces you to shoot, don't take one. Remember, the quality of your work will improve if you work with a real photog.

As for part two of your question, significant research is underway to find out how to send reporters out as holograms and cameras out as hovering drones in order to eliminate news cars. The latter would entail attaching lipstick cameras to trained hummingbirds. If that doesn't work, you'll see reporters like the ones in Star Trek Generations, in which Captain Kirk was interviewed by reporters wearing cameras strapped to their heads. Beam me the hell out of that beancounter reality.


Anonymous said...

For the "Mailbag", if you care to address this question on your blog sometime soon:

What does Sinclair's most recent massive acquisition (Fisher), and its likely-continuing acquisitions in the future, mean for the tv news business?

Randy Tatano said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Randy Tatano said...

Sorry, but I don't offer my opinions on the acquisitions of specific companies.

Amanda said...

Thanks so much for answering this question! My next job will be my third jump and since I have been an MMJ for my past two jobs, I was worried I might be stuck with it until I'm too old to carry a camera. I appreciate your insight on the matter, I know a lot of other reporters/MMJs are worried about it too.

Anonymous said...

Not meant to be a specific question. The idea is that this one, singular company is going to own a very large percentage of the country's tv stations. One company.

But that's fine if you don't want to comment. Just wanted to clarify that it's more a general "fear" that many have. Negative changes possibly on the way for many of us. But fingers crossed.

Randy Tatano said...

Well, regarding companies acquiring a lot of properties... this is what killed radio news back in the eighties. Deregulation allowed companies to own several stations in one market, so they consolidated staffs or simply eliminated them and took national feeds.

Slightly different for television news. But in any industry, it's never good when one company owns too much of something. They start consolidating and before you know it there are fewer jobs out there.