Typecast

Cast your mind back 17 years. A Reuters journalist prepared a report on the jobs data. loaded his script on the autocue, turned on his TV lights, positioned the ISDN camera, loaded his DIY graphics and went live to air on a digital feed to Tokyo. Afterwards, he wrote 800 words for the wire, recorded and cut a radio interview and turned around a 2-minute package for conventional TV.

Yes, that ‘multimedia’ journalist was me, which is why I’m surprised to read that “everything has changed” in the last 10 years and an entire new skillset is now required of journalists. Writing quick updates for the web is a huge imposition, it seems, and a radical departure from what came before.

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The Frame Game

Photo: Lucas Coch, AAP

Life as a TV news cameraman in Canberra is not one normally filled with adrenalin. Most of their days are spent trudging from doorstop to doorstop. Once in a blue-moon, there’s a leadership spill and they get to walk backwards down a corridor as the new leadership team promenade for the press. But riots? In their dreams only.
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Agenda Benders

What’s the key difference between good and bad journalism? In the former, the facts always come first, assumptions are to be avoided and the simple questions ‘who, what, where, when, how and why’ are the tools of the trade. For the latter, the facts are just a convenient hook on which to hang a specific agenda. The tragic events in Norway provide a prime example of how this works. Continue reading