Dispatch from the Frontlines: Polly Kreisman

Polly Kreisman

In the Loop: Polly Kreisman

I am an obsessive journalist the way some people kayak or collect star trek trinkets. I can’t help seeing the world the way I want to write it or shoot it or edit it for others. And then, I can’t help reporting it.

So the transition from old media to new media for me is the easiest thing in the world.

And the hardest.

For what we have here folks, is the Wild West. No assignment editor sending you to an apartment fire. No tweaking possible once your piece has aired. No beginning, middle or end to your day. And no more ‘one thing’ to call yourself: producer, reporter, producer/reporter, managing editor, cameraperson, one man band, guy at the lunch place.

Nope, not anymore.

For example, I have been trying to write this blog post since 9:30 am.  (Actually, since May 12) It is now 5:12. In the interim, I have had to write and send out my weekly newsletter (which helps bring people to theLoop,) upload four new articles, format the artwork for a new advertiser and put it in the ad server, finish writing a business plan, field emails with news and content to post, then post it, gently kick my two 7-year olds out of my home office (twice), and plan the next installment of LoopTV…all the while nursing a hangover from a Loop event last night (hey, it was my birthday.)

(Sorry- just had to post some breaking news and new real estate listings–damn formatting took forever)

looptiedyeMy goal for today was to read virtual piles of articles I have saved about hyperlocal business models and how to monetize them. In other words, how to make money doing this. As someone wrote to me today, it really is one of the first big new media questions of the 21st century.

Never got to that.

So while this feeds my news jones…and sometimes feeds my family, I have had to wear hats I never knew were in the closet:  Business Manager, Ad Sales (ew!), Computer Programmer, Event Planner, Graphic Artist, PR person, Accountant…Then there’s the micro-version of things that will never change: Instead of the ballsy “Eat, Drink and Be Wary” segments we did at WWOR TV (anyone remember the rats at the Bagel factory on the West Side Highway?) or that month upon month–long siege with the Korean-American community excoriating my 7-months pregnant self and WPIX TV for finding (and confirming on video and in lab testing) that certain members were breeding dogs for the restaurant trade–it’s the local coffee bar in Larchmont, NY where I found rats dancing up a storm through the window.  That proprietor, a year later, is still trying to shut us down, much the way the Korean Community tried to extract a retraction from the station. And much the way the H & H Bagel CEO came on the set with me one night and insisted I “put” the mice in the video.  One of the things I loved about being a reporter was the ability to do something new every day, meet people I never would have otherwise, and learn about their jobs, which were so different than the one I had.  And maybe along the way pass something on to give the audience more information about his/her world, whether it pisses someone off in the process or not. Hopefully, not.

And really, in that way, nothing’s changed.

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10 Comments

Filed under Local News 2.0

10 responses to “Dispatch from the Frontlines: Polly Kreisman

  1. Love theLoop. Love me some Polly.

  2. Polly’s a force of nature. And I think that’s pretty much exactly what you have to be to connect, break through and ultimately succeed in this swirling vortex of media change…

  3. Dane

    This is one smart lady and the hardest worker I know in this wild west.

  4. Don Ennis

    What Polly does naturally is something that is seldom taught: never let go. She’s not just tenacious, she is the very definition of intrepid. What members of the new media can learn from her is not to back away or back down or give up, and I’m counting on Polly to take the same approach to her new multipronged career (with awareness that there is only so much one person can do)! Go get ’em, PK!

  5. Yvette Corporon

    Polly is a rock star!

  6. Ann Nyberg

    If this isn’t wonderful inspiration for journalists on the front line, I don’t know what is.

    • Ann,

      Polly’s proving that necessity is the mother of invention… and all those years of knocking on doors, pounding out stories, putting up with managers, dealing with ancient equipment and ever-failing livetrucks… well, it’s built some pretty tough and damn determined journalists who simply refuse to call it a career and head for the exits. We’re recreating ourselves and building the “next thing”–the kind of work that gets some people called trendsetters.

      Polly, for sure.

  7. Helen Pasakarnis

    I’ve know Polly since we started at CNN in 1980. She was then, as she is now, a tenatious bulldog who will go through hell and high water and a field of brown recluse spiders to get the story and it get fast, first and right.
    Polly is beyond a rock star. She sets the bar very, very high for all in the media.
    Way to go!

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