I’ve got a huge amount of respect for reporters and journalists on the road. These folks play hardball and are strong people who are definitely more than just photogenic faces.
They’re not messing around with their day jobs, they know hundreds want to be where they are, but know only a few would put in the hard graft to make it.
Shadowing a number of very successful and hardworking on-screen journalists over the years has taught me a number of lessons as a newbie in the broadcasting realm.
Here’s my tongue in cheek list of some of the things television reporters have taught me:
THE TOP TEN
- You need to be physically fit, as in athletic, but also ‘fit’ as in attractive. Some parts of TV are about what you look like no matter what people say, you have to acknowledge that the audience at home do judge!
- Sometimes you find yourself preparing for an interview on your taxi ride to the interview itself. Whether it’s on a notepad or iPad, they’re constantly reading over their briefing notes and simultaneously scribbling down their questions.
- Always grab the opportunity to have food + coffee when you can – one confided: “you don’t know when your next meal is going to be.” Locate the nearest drive-thru Starbucks at your earliest convenience.
- Make-up & hair is done in your car rear view mirror. The ‘glamour of television’ is non-existent. And always wear layers, upon layers of clothing for warmth, no matter the season.
- You write your script in the car as you’re driving back to base.
- You write your piece to camera about 5 minutes before you do it, and don’t expect to have more than 3 takes to get it right. Time is of the essence when doing on the day turnarounds.
- All seasons roll into one. Rain, sleet or snow, you’re out chasing the news.
- Always find out if there’s parking at your location.
- Save EVERY contact on a job you make. Your mobile phone is the new ‘black book of contacts’.
- Have fun! It’s all apart of the job.