More Eyes on the Street

As a religion reporter, I rarely ever saw another tv station reporter on the same story. I could go weeks, even months before I’d see another station covering the same story I was covering.As a general assignment reporter again, I’m sometimes in a rather large crowd of journalists setting up for the interview and getting the b-roll shots.

What I saw Monday though, was unlike anything I’ve seen before.I was sent to a pro-wrestling company to cover the announcement that suspended Tennessee Titan Pacman Jones was joining TNA Entertainment while his football career is on hold.

I got there early and walked inside where I found the local AP photographer waiting. A few minutes later a guy walks in with a video camera. Then another, and another and another.By the time the news conference started I counted 9 video cameras in the room. Nine!!There are four local affiliates in Nashville so where did the other five cameras come from?

It turns out, a couple of the other stations in town sent a couple of crews. News and sports were shooting the conference. Another video camera was from The Tennesseean while the other was from the Associated Press while the last was from the wrestling company.

The AP and the Tennessean now have videographers covering a select number of stories each week. They were both using small format DV cams similar to what I carry. In fact, it was a little refreshing to (for once) not having the smallest videocamera in the room. The AP camera was one of the new Sonys, I think an HDR-FX7. The AP videographer was using an older model Panasonic.It’s the first time I’ve been on a shoot with print media journalists shooting video.

They told me The Tennessean rotates video duty among its photographers while the AP has a videographer ready to go. The Commercial Appeal is fortunate to have two photographers on staff with their own gear who love shooting video.

Newspapers are moving that way as their online editions attract more and more readers or viewers. I wonder how long it will be before they are hiring multiple videographers to do what tv stations have been doing since turning on the lights.

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