Post 201: Why Being A Multimedia Journalist is Difficult

By April 22, 2009 Journalism No Comments

Those of you out there that have done both print and broadcast journalism might identify with this; I’ve now done two semesters of working simulatenously at campus television station (as a news director/anchor/reporter) and a the campus newspaper, as reporter.

It’s been great fun, and in the fall I will become officially a liaison between the newspaper and TV,  and hopefully plan to collaborate regularly. I’m currently news director-elect as it were, as our managing editor at SLU TV is going out in the world to seek fame and fortune in about 2 weeks. Also, In about two weeks, I should know which station I’ll be working at (KSDK? KMOV?). I hope it’ll be KMOV, because I do have more exposure to the people even, though I know 2 people work at KSDK. The resumes go out this week. And then it will begin, crazy hours at work, and figuring out how and when I’ll work at the library. Insanity awaits.

Possibly, insanity is already here. Doing one form of media is stressful. Producing a weekly newscast with multiple people, with multiple schedules, and multiple work schedules creates an interesting environment, which looks good on a resume, but is not for the faint of heart. I’ll never speak ill of  a news director. Doing both can cause stress when you have both deadlines (and this has happened multiple times this year) arrive too close together. But I feel it’s worth it.

As far as SLU TV is concerned, were on solid ground. With a good recruitment drive in the fall, we can potentially move into that most hallowed of group of brethren: Emmys.  Your outfit has arrived when it is reward for a job well done, and I think we have the nucleus for a emmy-award winning team now, and I can see leaving SLU next year with a strong news department.

But I stray from my original point.  For me it’s has been quite  a ride, writing on deadline at the paper, and making sure others meet deadlines for News 22. What I hope to do is to retain the managing editor position, but make it go-between reporters at both the paper and TV, help coordinate content, so that we can complement each other’s coverage. The whole media covergence that’s been talked about.

Where we stand right now is that student journalists already are doing what Kasey Joyce and Casey Nolan do at KSDK. The aim to is add the print dimension to mix. You may not be on camera all the time, and writing for print will certainly expand your skills for broadcast, and it will add a dimension that will stand out when you do for broadcast and print jobs. Taking glances at TV websites will usually give away the fact that very little, or any print training has taken place.  Print’s writing style is different inasmuch as how the story structured, not how the the story is written.

As I wrap up this semester, I still wonder from time to time whether this is the right profession, or should I become something else. With the business looking for all the world to be in shambles, with layoffs here, furloughs there, I still think I made the right choice. Somebody has too pick up the baton (or torch, if you will) and keep the light burning. We can’t give up on the people who’s stories we tell.

%d bloggers like this: