If someone asks, I’ll tell them I am a communicator.
I used to ply my craft in the world of broadcast news, where deadlines are stiff and constraints are unreal. You’re expected to weave a whole day’s worth of development on an issue into 70 seconds. If you’re lucky, 70 seconds of video will match up with 70 seconds of audio and tell a unified story. If you’re skilled, 70 seconds video + 70 seconds audio = greater than the sum of the parts. It’s not easy. You have to become a master at finding and exploiting analogies. You have to learn how to frame an issue and the context together so it makes sense. And did I mention you have just one day to pull it all together, with travel to unwilling subjects, and you can’t stretch your deadline by a single second?
Broadcast Journalism departments squeeze out as many graduates every year as there are jobs in the industry. Most never get in the door, and go on to something else. A few stick around for the long haul from behind a cushy anchor desk, where the salary typically becomes inversely proportional to effort exerted. A lot of us, myself included, leave after several years of honing our skills in the crucible that is daily news. And we have a mission. [Read more...]