I’m reading Neil Orne’s blog every day now that training for vjs, or video journalists is now at it’s halfway point. Orne is a morning anchor for WKRN, the ABC affiliate in Nashville.
His most recent post reflects the questions and concerns of every reporter and photographer who’s asked to change the way they’ve traditionally gathered the news. Those questions have always been: will I be paid the same as everyone else who’s doing the same job as me?, will I have to drive my own car or is the station doubling it’s news vehicle fleet, how long will I have to turn these stories on my own?
I’ve said before that I think this is the future of local news. I’ve also said that for many reporters…it won’t be in their future. Many won’t like it. Will refuse to comply with the changes. And will look for a job elsewhere.
Judging from Neil’s blog…he won’t be one of them. He seems to be embracing this new challenge. Like many morning anchors who are expected and required to put a story together after the morning show is over, this new paradigm may enable him to work only an 8 hour day.
From his blog: “I wake up at 1:30am, on the air for 2.5 hours, wait for two sometimes three hours to get a story approved and a photographer to arrive at work, and start working on my afternoon story about 8 to 10 hours into my day.”
With this new model, Neil will be able to grab a camera himself and head out the door. His story may not run that day either, giving him more time to get the elements he needs to tell a complete story.
It’s a new way of gathering and reporting the news that’s long overdue. Like it or not, don’t be shocked if it’s the way every station covers the news in the next 5-10 years.