Daily Archives: January 26, 2009

Fearing the Backpack? Here’s the Skinny on Going “DJ”

Longtime Backpacker Kevin Sites

Longtime Backpacker Kevin Sites

Yeah, sure, you can sit in the newsroom and bitch and moan with co-workers about how sure you are that “it’ll never happen here,” but odds are, the longer you stay in local tv news, the more likely it is that somebody at some point is going to hand you a small camera and laptop and ask you to do it all yourself. We used to call ’em one-man-bands, now you hear “multimedia journalist” or “digital journalist.” And it’s not just for small markets anymore. CNN calls them “all-platform” journalists, WNBC’s “Content Center,” of course, is modeled on the MMJ format, and WUSA in Washington used multimedia journalists on the biggest of big local stories: the Inauguration of Barack Obama.

NBC's Mara Schiavocampo

NBC's Mara Schiavocampo

Deborah Potter, whose NewsLab is mandatory daily reading, has a great piece up on advancingthestory (companion to the book of the same name) about how backpackers like NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo are getting the story–and getting themselves on franchise media titans like the NBC Nightly News. Even if the idea of it gives you sudden rush of thoughts like, “how bad could PR really be?” this post is worth a look.


Filed under Local News 2.0, Uncategorized

Latest Layoffs: Lee, Peters Among 15 Cut in Birmingham

The Allbritton budget cutting that swept through Washington’s WJLA and Little Rock’s KATV hit the Heart of Dixie Friday, with 15 layoffs at WBMA/Birmingham. (Initially, station officials had said 20 jobs were cut, but the number was revised downward later in the day, amid the obvious confusion and emotion inside the station)

Reporter Melissa Lee and weather anchor Brian Peters were the only talent cut, according to the Birmingham Newswbma_midday, which quoted ABC 33/40 General Manager Mike Murphy as saying “”It’s a very difficult time. We regret that it had to take place.”

The newspaper said Murphy cited decreasing advertising revenues as the major reason for the layoffs, but he declined to comment further.

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Filed under layoffs