An internship scared/steered him away from TV news

Sometimes it takes years for someone to get his or her fill of a newsroom. Some get all they can stand quickly enough to decide to move on to other careers before they even get started in news.
Such was the case for a person who emailed me recently from Brazil who said he stumbled across my blog. He said he interned on Union around 1988 as he attended the University of Memphis State University. I’m not mentioning his name since he didn’t post to the blog but I thought his story was interesting.
He said he found it interesting how the evening female anchor appeared to be so happy-go-lucky on camera and then was “impatient and fiercly competitive” once she got off the set. He went on to say how the news producer would have him call the station down on the river about news stories that the two had covered when it appeared that WREG had more information than they did on Union. Apparently he called often enough that they began to recognize his voice and began to advise him to pay closer attention to the broadcast.
I found such calls were not uncommon, especially on weekends when news crews/warm bodies were scarce. I won’t say that the practice was not conducted from our end but I do know I began to recognize the same couple of callers who asked more than what would have been normal questions just prior to a newscast. I eventually began to tell the callers that we were working against a deadline and that all the information we had would be available in just 15 minutes or whatever time it was to the newscast.
These days, you don’t have to worry about not having some information, although a good newsperson must still get it confirmed. Now in an effort to be first, TV news stations post information on their websites and will even email it to those who sign up. I know at least one local ND who signed up for the news alerts from down on the river and would get them and probably still does. I’m not sure if the person who sat in the ND’s office down on the river ever figured it out or not or attempted to sign up for breaking news from the competition. Probably was too busy talking to the consultants.

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2 Comments on “An internship scared/steered him away from TV news”

  1. Chris Julian Says:

    Wow…what an honor for my comments to be used as a blog entry. I should note that there were those in the newsroom who were just as real in front of the camera as they were behind the camera. Jack Eaton, Dave Brown and Joe Birch were incredibly encouraging to me during my Mon, Wed, Fri internship. The female anchor I should add was very cordial to me and has moved on to Atlanta.

  2. Joe Larkins Says:

    My lovely and talented bride worked as a producer over on Union for a brief while. I won’t say when but I think they had steam-driven cameras. (I can promise you I will regret that remark.)
    She adored Big Jack Eaton and since she is a sports fanatic, they got along extremely well. She also spoke very highly of all those she worked with. I think she said Joe Birch was an intern when she was there.


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