Reporter Goes All Multiplatformy for a Chance to Cover Obama Inauguration

Yeah, I’m talking about me.  Look, I know I can write about multiplatform, convergence, hyperlocal and backpack journalism with the best of ’em.  And often, I’m harshly critical.  But to be honest, from my first day as a local tv newser, in Grand Junction, Colorado, I’ve never had to lug my own gear and shoot my own stuff.  I edited my own packages for a few years, but I was never, officially, a one man band.  

So tomorrow (actually, later this morning) I’m going to get a taste of the future.  (Or is it the past?  Or the present?  I get so confused lately as things in this business change so fast.)  A few days ago my news director asked if I’d like to cover the inauguration.  Now this was waaaaaay past the point of your standard have-a-hotel-room-and-sat-time-booked point.  I jumped with “yes” before I even knew the details.  Short version?  Ride up to DC on a bus with folks who want to witness history;  no hotel, no shower, not even a bag bigger than a ladies’ handbag.  Just me, multiple layers, a coat, (hopefully, God-willing, a steady supply of decent coffee) and a laptop.  I’ll Twitter and blog on the bus, and while I will have a solid, professional photographer with me, I’m bringing my old XL1S also.  

As much as I’ve criticized the cutbacks and convergence, I must admit I’m excited.  Not just your standard get to be there for the moment in history excitement, but the guerilla reporting excitement.  The “we don’t need no stinking credentials for edit space” excitement.  Down and dirty, figure it out as we go along.  

I’ll be Twittering and blogging throughout.  I hope to experiment with videoblog entries from the bus on our www.localnews.com

Washington Post Photo

Washington Post Photo

 

 

site.  I hope we can make this an ongoing conversation.  I only wish I was going into it on more than an hour’s sleep (and that’s if I get to sleep in the next ten minutes).

UPDATE:  tvnewser and webnewser report there will be other first time “guerilla” reporters on the Obama story:  ABC’s JuJu Chang’s “unwired” and ready to try a new way to report.  The story’s here.

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3 Comments

Filed under Local News 2.0

3 responses to “Reporter Goes All Multiplatformy for a Chance to Cover Obama Inauguration

  1. Looking forward to reading your posts. Not only on coverage of the event, but insight into the new era of multimedia journalism. What worked, what didn’t, what you learned, where there any defining moments – ie. “this could work” or “this needs work before rolling out further”. I think your insight could go a long way in staging the conversation on multimedia journalism.

    Good luck.

  2. Sara Goldenberg

    Hi Mark,

    You started out in Grand Junction and you didn’t have to one man band? Wow! I’m a reporter for KJCT in Grand Junction and everyone is one man banding now. How did your one man band experience go? Do you think most TV stations are moving to one man bands, and if so, how does the quality not suffer? It’s a lot to juggle, and it can be done, but I think the reporter is stretched in so many directions that sometimes the journalism comes up short.

  3. Hi Sara!

    When I started at KJCT, there were two news cars and two cameras. I think I was fortunate to be able to focus on the reporter’s traditional end of things; the structure of the story, how to get the best out of interviews, how to write to video. My thinking, though, has always been visual, and so I enjoyed picking up the camera.

    One man banding is like reporting the same story for 3 newscasts, instead of focusing on the best story, you’re dividing things up. I’ve never liked doing that.

    Glad to have you on the site sharing your thoughts… also join me over on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/standupkid!

    And if you ever run into Mike Moran, tell him I said hi!

    Mark

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