With the hope of adding more content to komusports.blogspot.com and brianmortensen.com, I went down to the station on Friday to take care of a bunch of stuff. First, I wanted to get as much video as possible from my news reporting days to post over on brianmortensen.com. I looked for numerous news stories I reported on over the summer with the high-quality raw video, but unfortunately it had all been deleted except for whatever was on komu.com. Of course, I should have gotten those stories immediately after I reported on them, but oh well. The video from komu.com actually looks OK on Youtube – so thankfully I was able to save them. I was bummed I couldn’t save one of the live shots I did for the “Tiger Treasures Rummage Sale” – a total bogus story, little news value but I had some good video and it fit in with the day – simply one of those slow news days in the summer in Mid-Missouri.It was a fun live shot because I was able to show several high-quality rummage sale items, so it was a productive live shot at least.
Once I dug up all my old news video, I began uploading it to Youtube. Meanwhile, I harvested some sports video for komusports.blogspot.com and uploaded it to Vimeo. After I found all the video, I saw KOMU was covering 2 local high school games – Fulton @ Mexico, and Helias @ Rock Bridge. On a whim, I took a drive to Mexico, then back to Rock Bridge on the premise of taking some pictures and such for the blog. It was fun – I was able to get some decent pictures with my crappy little point-and-shoot camera and get them on the blog before the sportscast aired. I called the sports office and told them if they wanted, they could add a web snipe shoutout to the KOMU Sports blog at the end of the highlights to tell viewers they could check out the blog for some pictures from the games. You can check out the pictures here: the Rock Bridge game and the Mexico game
Then yesterday, I went down to the station to upload the highlights to Vimeo. I also added a short video extra from the Mexico game – the “Crowning of Mr. Bulldog” – a celebration of the school’s “best man”. One of the players on the basketball team won, so it was pretty cool.
The site is really coming along well and I’d love to see us add even more content!
In our B3 meeting/lecture/roundtable yesterday (I call it that because it’s technically a lecture, but it’s so informal that it feels more like a meeting/roundtable) we discussed and viewed good/bad/ugly live shots. I may be on my own in this, but I think “going live for the sake of going live” is a good thing. Having reported in live shots, and set up live shots as the truck operator, I think it provides an important link in a newscast. Yeah, it might be completely worthless standing in the dark as a “floating head”, but to me, that means you need to be more creative. Show me something worth flipping to from the studio – even if it’s a sign or some sort of “scenic” backdrop (i.e. field, stadium, building, traffic). It can sometimes appear cheesy, but I like the aspect of “Hey, we ARE out in the community paying attention to things that are going on.” As a reporter, I enjoy them because it gives me a lot of face time and a chance to show either my personality, or show something related to the story in more detail than I would be able to in the studio. Does the fact I enjoy it for face time detract from the journalistic quality? Perhaps.
I can see the argument both ways. With our training, I feel we’re pretty apt to not let our personalities overshadow a story. The challenge comes for inexperienced live reporters who get nervous and stick strictly to a script, or get nervous from “YOU’RE ON LIVE TV. GO!!!” For me, that nervousness doesn’t happen. Yes, the adrenalin kicks in, but I love that.
I attribute the fun of it to a line I heard several years ago (circa 2005) from Mike Quick, the high school sports producer, reporter, and anchor from MSG Network in New York. He taught the “advanced” section of the “Bruce Beck and Ian Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp” in NJ. To this day, there are VERY few people who scare the living bejeezus out of me, and he is one of them. He’s probably 6’5″, 250 pounds, and as intense as Tom Coughlin. Anyway, we were doing on-camera exercises as a group. One person messed up, and Quick had him do it again. His advice? He spoke slowly, staring each one of us in the eye: “Calm down. It’s just TV. You’re not saving anybody’s life here. You’re not a surgeon, a doctor, a soldier, or a cop. It’s JUST TV.”
And that’s how I look at it. Live shots help me, as a reporter, keep perspective on our jobs.