Category Archives: Journalism

Two Virginia Journalists Killed During Live Shot — RTDNA Message

By | CBS, Journalism | One Comment

Roanoke, VA — Two journalists were killed this morning in what can only be described as an attack during a live shot this morning on local CBS affiliate WDBJ; the victims, reporter Alison Ward and photographer Adam Ward were fatally when eight shots rang out during a live shot at Bridgewater Plaza around 6.45am EDT. The other shooting victim is in surgery at a local hospital.

The following is a message from the RTDNA Executive Director, MIke Cavender

26 August 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mike Cavender
RTDNA Executive Director
770-622-7011
mikec@rtdna.org

RTDNA Mourns Deaths of Virginia Journalists

WASHINGTON – The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) mourns the deaths of WDBJ-TV journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward, who were shot and killed while reporting during a Wednesday morning broadcast. The reporter and photographer team were in the middle of a live report on the air when several shots were fired. A woman they were interviewing was also shot and wounded.

“RTDNA is horrified and saddened by the senseless deaths of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, the two WDBJ employees,” said Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director. “While the shootings are under investigation, our most sincere sympathies go out to their families and friends and all who worked with them at WDBJ.”

“Tragically, these shootings are the worst example in a continuing series of attacks on live television crews,” he added, “Safety and security of our people is always of paramount concern, but as these attacks show, such violence can occur even in the most unexpected of situations.”

 

For Additional details,  visit WDBJ7.com – http://www.wdbj7.com/news/local/law-enforcement-investigating-incident-at-bridgewater-plaza/34923086

What Drives You?

By | Journalism | One Comment

Perhaps I’m feeling a bit odd today. It’s a question that get is asked often. ‘What drives you?’ Initially that was a career in journalism.

Journalism, that noble profession where you give voice to voiceless, turn attention to things that need attention drawn to them, was what I embarked on while in college, an attempt at a change from my comfort zone, and the safer option of medical school. Looking back, I can’t say that was the best decision.

Just a little under four years, and there is no career, and not even a whiff of one. What that decision to become a journalist a wise decision?

I’m no longer so sure. Maybe it’s been the past few years of feeling like nothing is being accomplished. Setting goals, only to have to change, cancel, or push them back, because something you thought would change, would actually change. Journalism is still a passion of mine, although with each passing day, I lose a little bit of that passion.

My other passions have hit a wall as well. When do you quit? When do you say ‘I’ve had enough, this isn’t working.’ Am I near that point? I don’t know. This year started off with yet another tantalizing lure of positive change, one that, early days still, I’ll admit, still hasn’t happened, and it still looks like the same repetition from years past. It’s tiring, and mentally draining. No stability breeds discontent and meager means limits your options. While it’s still early in the game, going back to school to tack on another degree seems tempting, but potentially a very unwise financial decision with mounting debt from undergraduate study and no readily available resources to make ends meet before embarking on more expensive study.

I guess it goes back to what I want to be, and what I need. Neither of which is being fulfilled, leaving me tired, irritable, and starving for change. I’ll admit that this a common problem, but looking at a 32nd birthday around the corner, I’m not where I want to be, and I need to troubleshoot why not, and move the chains toward the goal line.

Again, a different route is a clean slate, carefully planning a way to positive change, to move forward, fulfilled, tired from making progress that is tangible instead of standing still or moving backward, as is seemingly the case since graduation.

I feel that the comfort zone needs to be shaken up, or outright removed. Going out on limb, to turn a dated phrase.

The plans are set; now to force them to happen.

The Allman Report

By | Journalism, KDNL | 2 Comments

It’s been a few weeks since the Allman Report debuted on KDNL. What are your thoughts on the program? Is it worthy competition to 2, 4, 5 & 11?

One major complaint I have is the “new” ABC30 logo. It’s a step backward. The graphics are standard Sinclair “Curves”, along with the music, also called “Curves” by 615Music (by way of WarnerChappell Music.

As for Jamie Allman, he was a solid investigative reporter for KMOV. His political slant aside, he is comfortable in front of the camera, even if the rest of the talent isn’t. I’ll do a more in depth review later.

 

An Update; No, Your Eye’s Don’t Deceive You

By | Journalism, website | One Comment

A quick update. The plan right now is to work on blog posts daily. They will come a various times a day, and will cover a wide variety of subjects. I may even do more that one a day.

On the work front, I’m no longer looking for journalism jobs; I’m not out of the trade, however. I will be working hard to develop my own independent work. To those ends, I’ll need to obtain newer equipment a few websites to help with that are being investigated. More on those later. In short, I’m creating my own job.

Additionally, I’m working on potentially doing daily video logs (working on converting an old smart phone for that purpose. Look for a few test videos soon.

Watch this space.

Tempus Fugit, Or How Time Flies

By | Journalism | One Comment

It’s been a long while since I did an entry on this site. Today marks the end of the long silence. I have few special projects I’m working on, and as always, I’m looking to work in journalism, although now I’m more focused on creating my own journalism job rather than trying to force the break in to the industry.

My silence has not been an abandonment of my journalist aspirations, but merely a recharging of them. Over that past month or so (spent mostly at home from one of my jobs, I have two right now), recovering from first an allergy, then the flu, and now a nagging sinus infection, I’ve had plenty of time to think.  Today marks a change from standing on the sidelines to to a carpe diem moment (a lot of Latin today, I apologize).

From this point forward I will be working on a news website for St. Louis. This blog will be used to solicit input on what it should focus on and what you think the established media is missing in St. Louis. I’ll critique the media daily as well as bring you insight into the goings-on locally.

As they say, watch this space.  I promise the next entry won’t take a year to produce.

Sharon Stevens Leaving KSDK

By | Journalism, KSDK, KTVI | One Comment

St. Louis — Joe Holleman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that KSDK’s education reporter Sharon Stevens will leave to pursue other interests. Stevens, who has been with the NBC affiliate since 1993, and previously with KTVI for 10 years prior to that, will hang up her microphone on July 10th.

 

More Newscasts Coming KMOV

By | CBS, Journalism, KMOV | No Comments

ST. LOUIS — Get ready for more newscasts coming to KMOV in July. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Deb Peterson posted on May 30 that the CBS Affiliate will add newscasts from 7am to 8am and 10:30-11:00am on Sundays. The newscast will be named “Awake Sunday.”

The station already airs 1 hour of news on Saturday and Sunday at 10pm.

John Knicely and Dianna Zoga will anchor with Kristen Cornett providing weather.

My Take:

More newscasts are good; although the news content hasn’t increased with the additions of newscasts at KSDK, KMOV, KPLR, or KDNL the past few years. We’ve seen largely the same content recycled throughout the day, with a few new readers and a developing story.

With newscast additions, traditionally new talent is brought in, but also in recent years, existing talent is given second or even third duties on top of their existing jobs; while great for the bottom line, it’s not great for an industry in need of new talent coming out of schools, but that’s a separate argument. The real problem is can existing talent and staff be expected to do quality work while they are being overworked? Only time can tell.

Why So Quiet? Or My Career Aspirations Deferred

By | Journalism | No Comments

I’m sure many have wondered why my blog hasn’t been updated in several months. There is a simple answer for that.

There is no news to report, good, bad, or otherwise. What this post will try to do is summarize what has happened (or not) the last few months.

My last regular reporting was in August, while I was on an internship. There has been little movement career-wise since then. Whether this is a symptom of a poor economy, disinterested employers, or a simple lack of need of new journalists, I’ll leave to the experts.

I graduated in May of 2010 in hopes of finding regular work in my chosen profession, continuing to refine the skills both in front of and behind the camera, and in print while in college. I have not been successful in that pursuit so far, as fulltime reporting positions have continued to be elusive. Perhaps in the new year that will change. One can only hope.

Until recently, I had been attempting to relocate to New York, but while I enjoyed being in quite possibly one of the greatest cities on earth during my internship, I was not able to find permanent work, and I had to return to my hometown. Living in New York is still a prospect, but I cannot financially support relocating with the promise of future employment.

Because of a lack of career movement, I’ve looked at leveraging my skills to other potential employers and I have run into another problem. I lack experience as a journalist, which makes me unappealing to many newsrooms, which I can understand. However, with respect to public-facing work of which I have 12 years and counting experience, it’s seems to be a double negative of sorts (combined a with a bachelor’s degree in communications) in the current economic climate. College Degrees and retail are apparently a bad mix right now. By default, you’re overqualified.

I recently got dropped in the second round by major shoe retailer I suspect because of my college degree. The net result is income I could use to further my abilities a journalist (equipment for example; I have a computer on it last legs that I cannot replace because I currently cannot buy a new machine; my digital journalists toolkit that I’ve been planning to build continues to be deferred because of a lack of income) won’t be there. Coupled with college debt, and the results are unpleasant.

Over the past few months I have reluctantly moved from what I want to do, to what I need to do survive until retirement age. It is wholly likely that journalism may be a dream deferred (or unlikely); I haven’t given up, and this blog will try to chronicle what I’m doing.

I’ll try to blog more regularly and get this page moving again. Stay tuned.

Updates: Website, Portfolio, and Job Applications

By | Journalism, website | No Comments

This is a very overdue blog update.  I’m redesigning my resume and applying to a new round of jobs in New York, Washington, Boston, and Chicago.  My ultimate goal is to move to New York (hopefully before July), and I am working on planning a trip there later this month, as a go see, and to interview for jobs. It will also help me decide which borough/neighborhood to focus on.

The interesting part about that is trying to pin down a date that I can comfortably put on cover letters (probably styled as “the week of…”) so that a date can be ironed out if I’m called out for an interview.

In other news, the portfolio aspect of things is coming along. I plan to have video projects I’ve done uploaded to my YouTube account this week. This is work I did with the Student Media Production Team, that I can showcase myself as a capable editor.

On that note, I’ve uploaded my University News stories and SLU News22 scripts to Scribd (www.scribd.com/kjohnson04) so potential employers can see my copy writing ability.

You’ll also see my Patch.com stories (University City/Clayton-Richmond Heights) show up here and at Scribd.  I’ll probably spend the weekend going through Youtube and pulling out my newscasts from News22 and cutting those down to post on my account and build an anchoring/reporting demo reel.

Lastly, I’m looking at HDV cameras on eBay to buy that I can start adding a MMJ element to stories I do for Patch.com, and making complimentary packages to go with those stories.

Keep your eyes peeled on that. I’ll have a new post soon.