“So You Want to Tell Stories, Eh?”An Overview of Being a Professional Journalist Michael Price – Bank of America April 17, 2012
Michael Price Former television journalist turned MBA and retail banker, focusing now on making presentations for a living. • 2 years - Communications Consultant @ Bank of America • 2 years - Television Photojournalist @ Marion County Public Schools • 3 years - Television Bureau Chief / Reporter @ WCJB-TV20 (ABC) Gainesville / OcalaMe: 10 years ago… • 3 years - Student Radio Personality @ WRUF-AM 850, Gainesville
Why Consider Being a Journalist?• I love writing• It looks exciting• I care about my community• Uncovering the truth• I want my face on TV / People to hear me• I want to be famous
Being a Journalist: The Good• It’s exciting• Meet interesting and famous people• Access to people, places, and events you wouldn’t get otherwise• Use your writing and networking skills to make a living
Joe GirvanSports AnchorESPN 760 (Radio), WPTV-TV (NBC), WFLX-TV (Fox),West Palm Beach Joel Hartley Photojournalist / Video Editor • Marion County Public Schools • Freelance Photojournalist for Cox Sports Television (New Orleans) and CSS (Atlanta) Sarah Wojcik Police Beat Reporter Eastern Express Times, Bethlehem PA
Being a Journalist: The … Um, Not as Good The pay isn’t so great 98% of journalists: 2% Make a living 2% of journalists: 98% OMG I’M RICH AND WEALTHY AND SOCIALLY SECURE *Purely unscientific numbers supported by no data or facts … it’s just to illustrate my point.
Being a Journalist: The … Um, Not as Good Life WORK Dating Family Hanging out with Friends
Different Types of Media“He’s got a face for “…and a voice for radio…” print.”
Print / Online Radio Television• Just be a good • Sound the part • Look and sound the part. journalist! • Go live without a • Go live with or without a• More casual dress prompter or script teleprompter• Guys, no make-up! • Look the part for • Make up! “remotes”• More detailed, in- • Words have to paint • Your video and “Nat depth stories the pictures of news / sound” is the most• Photos with captions sports compelling part of the help tell your story • “Nat sound” can help story. propel your story • Your words forward complement the images.
Print / Online Radio Television• Opinions are expected • Opinions are bread • Time is precious (editorials) and butter of the • Not usually room /• More scripted / medium through talk appropriate for controlled shows (not in opinions (sports are newscasts) ok) – unless you have a talk show format• Make press time for • News / Sports are • News / Sports are the morning edition always happening always happening (print) • Updates can be any • Updates can be any• Updates can be any time time time (online)• Stories are snapshots of a point in time written in the past
What You Need To Get the Job Done• Writing Skills – Quickly answer “So What?” and “Who Cares?” – Write under deadline pressure – Limited space / time to present your story – Write to your video / sound / photos• Good Awareness, Vision, Hearing – You have to uncover the best stories – In broadcast, you have to be able to balance and edit audio / video• Organization Skills – Keep tabs on potential stories / follow-ups – Generally cover multiple stories in a day… plan carefully! – Back up equipment! Just in case!• People Skills – People are your most important resource! They generate the news and provide quotes and sound bites! – Contacts in the community provide leads – but you have to maintain the relationship – You always have to answer: “What’s this person’s motivation?”
A Day in the Life: How a Team Works TogetherAssignment Desk – Keeps track of Reporter / Photographer – Goes Reporter – Writes the story. Good onesstory ideas. Assigns stories to reporter into the field and covers multiple coordinate with their photographer. / photographer teams. stories per day. Photographer – Submits photos or edits audio/video. Good ones coordinate with their reporter. Production Crew – Producer / Editor – Decides the order and the format in which News Director / Copy Editor – Airs the piece (broadcast). Reviews and approves stories. stories will be presented.
What Else Can You Do?• Communications• Public Relations• Politics• Sales• Anything that requires someone with awesome people and communications skills!
What I did then as a reporter… Share story Assigned a Something Story is with story by mynewsworthy Assignment approved by thousands of happens News Director viewers every Desk team Uncover Assemble day the details the Story and with the capture right the images words to tell the andBank of America right story images Story is Share story has an Assigned a opportunity to approved by the with improve and presentation same co-workers thousands ofbetter serve its by my boss who provide me employees customers information every week What I do now as a communications consultant…
How Do You Break In the Biz?• Shadow, volunteer, get on somebody’s radar!• Do it for the right reasons!!