Life as a VJ

For one of the first times in nearly two years, I felt a little inadequate while covering a story as a vj.

It was a news conference at a police department on a high school teacher charged with statutory rape of a student. It’s a big story, our lead at 6 tonight.

I show up to find the other stations there. Two live trucks (they have mid-day shows), one station had two 2-man crews, the others had one 2-man crews. Me? I was by myself.

Now I’ve been doing the vj thing (or one-man-band) since January of ’06. I hardly ever ran into other news crews as a religion reporter. But I’m not doing that anymore.

I set up my tripod, set my microphone on the podium and went to work recording the conference and asking questions and taking notes.

No problems. The difficulty, I find is when you’re trying to make phone calls, find a street on a map and steering the vehicle without running off the road. I pull over most times, but can’t do it always.

I got back to the station in time to write and edit the lead for 4 and for 6 along with writing and editing the cold opens.

When you are the reporter OR the photographer, there’s a little bit of a breather in there. You can either relax a minute while the story is being written by someone else, or when it’s being edited by someone else. As a VJ, you’re constantly writing or editing.

So, when the other stations stories hit the air I held my breath. I was afraid they might have more information than me, or that they had interviewed the teacher or the student’s family. I was afraid they had found the time to dig up something else from the teacher’s past.

As it turns out, I did okay. You can see my story here, the other stations stories here and here. Let me know what you think.

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