Saturday, July 21, 2012

News media and you

I started to make a TL:DR comment over at RobertaX's blog, then stopped myself, as it was getting way off topic. So I saved the edited portions for here.

I was going off on a tangent about media interviews, and I have had a camera stuffed in my face once, and at least one other time spoken to a reporter about a story. The first time was the day the O.J. criminal trial returned a verdict, that night a reporter was looking for quotes from college kids. Managed to not put two coherent words together; and guessed wrong about the verdict too! Needless to say I made the cutting room floor on that one.

The second, more of a conversation, was more exciting. The setup: Our business faces a major street with good sightlines. So the Channel 8 weather crew set up a live shot out front when a "Big Storm" was coming. Three trucks worth of people- weather guy, reporter, cameramen, producers. So, we watched them watch the storm come in. Sky gets nastier and nastier. All of the sudden, someone jumps into one of the trucks and hauls ass to the business next door. The wind hits, and the power went out. We rush to manually shut all our doors, as heavy rains followed the wind by 10 seconds, if that. Power is back, we go into the office. Notice the rest of the trucks are heading next door too. Wind is heavy, then I start seeing the front door and windows moving in and out. I tell my coworker; time to hit the restroom (concrete walls). 20 minutes later, just light rain.

The station set up a live shot next door for the 10 pm news, never talked to us. Turned out we had a tornado go over the top of our shop. After the news, the reporter stopped in to chat. She was the one that banzai charged our neighbors first. We compared war stories- she liked the moving windows part, and she admitted she ruined the video they took- she was screaming the whole time "we are all gonna f'ing die" over and over, and had been yelling at them for 5 minutes to take cover before she told them to all go screw themselves and bolted for something with a basement.

I have gotten some inside baseball time too, at the same station- my wife interned there, one of her jobs was to run the closed captioning. Provided I could shut up, I was actually allowed to watch a couple of newscasts from inside the studio. That was cool. I think I had to hold a door while one anchor smoked; or she just wanted a big ugly ass dude standing outside to scare away the weirdos.

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