I’ve managed to fill out most of the paperwork, turned two stories and have slowly started to learn names and faces at News 2. It’s a good shop, a really good newsroom with some of the best writers, producers, reporters, shooters and anchors that I’ve worked with in 18 years in news.
I haven’t been a one-man-band since I was lugging those huge old cameras and portapacks for WJSU in Anniston, Alabama. At the time I would have thought you were crazy if you told me I would pick up a camera again. It’s a very different way to gather news now.
I shot a story Monday, edited it in my home studio and it ran tonight at 6 as the promoted story from last night. It turned out okay, could have been better. I had a microphone problem with the wireless and had to shoot the whole thing with the shotgun microphone. I was afraid it was operator error. It wasn’t. I’m now waiting on a new wireless system.
The station got a number of phone calls early today from viewers who saw the promo for my story tonight on the American Family Association. That’s the Tupelo, MS group that organized the boycotts over Christmas and the complaints about “The Book of Daniel.” The receptionist told me people were angry because they figured the story would be negative and critical of the group. I hope they call back after they saw the story. it wasn’t negative or positive but it was fair.
Funny how much has changed since I got out of the business 18 months or so ago. Once you bring the tape back to the station and load it on your computer, it’s the last time you will see or use tape. You digitize it, edit on your computer and then drag and drop in the digital server which plays the video once the anchors toss to the piece. I’ve had some training on the routine but still need someone to look over my shoulder.
I’ve been meeting with pastors this week, letting them know that News 2 now has a religion and ethics reporter and what they can expect to see. I’m also picking their brains for story ideas. Judging from the phone calls and comments so far, I can’t imagine ever not having an idea for a religion story in this city. The Southern Baptist and United Methodists have corporate offices and publishing houses here. So does the National Baptist Association. There’s Vanderbilt seminary, Belmont and Trevecca Universities and more churches than Walgreens and Mapcos combined. I’m meeting with other pastors tomorrow and Friday and then hope to be able to dive into the regular daily news gathering pool.
No, I still don’t have the blog up. The web guy has to have a photo and I haven’t gotten the in-house marketing guy (or whoever does it) to take a picture yet. I still don’t have voice mail set up at my desk and only got e-mail today.
One thing I’ve really noticed in the last 24 hours: There are about a bazillion more cars on the road in Nashville than in Memphis. It seems everywhere I went today I hit a traffic jam. I think a 24-hour All Traffic Channel would work well here. The 15 minute drive back to Brentwood took nearly an hour tonight. The funny thing is, I never see what causes the tie-ups. All day today I would sit in traffic expecting to see an accident or construction when I start to move. But I never did. On I-440 today it was going so slow I thought I was going to see an Amish family pulling a mobile home.
I’ll get used to it.