Sunday, July 30, 2006

Television Photographer
Job Description

I've known for a while now that Time Warner's News 14 was coming to Greensboro. They already have News in Charlotte and Raleigh so the middle ground of the Triad is obviously the next step.

According to their website they are coming this fall and with the move they are looking to hire some TV Professionals to run the show. They have several jobs posted from News Manager at the top of the list down to News Photographer at the bottom.

Why the bottom? That bugs me.

(Quick RANT here) Without the Photog there is NO TV! Period....You can hire all the reporters and producers you want (listed above the Photog in Jobs posting) and you just get radio, or maybe a website. (End RANT)

Anyway, I've seen a lot of TV job postings with varying amounts of descriptions but the one for the News 14 positions are quite detailed.

Take for instance the "Photographer/ENG Tech" listing.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES :• Shoots professional, top-quality video for on-scenes, packages, VOs and VOSOTs. Conduct interviews for sound when needed. 60% • Skillfully edit any story assigned for TV newscast including VOs, VOSOTs, and packages either in the field or on Newsbytes. Thorough knowledge of TV News video storytelling and editing techniques required. 20% • Write succinct, accurate, informative television news stories in ENPS. 20% • Aptitude and ability to train for operation of SNG/ENG live trucks for live reports, events, press conferences or breaking news events. Sets up live shots and operates camera during live events. • Performs other duties as assigned.

That's a pretty standard account of what our job can involve on any given day. But in their listing there's more....

JOB DIMENSIONS: Must have valid NC driver's license and a safe driving record. Responsible for the safe operation of the Satellite/Microwave truck, cameras and gear. Observes and enforces all safety and FCC rules and regulations to assure safe and appropriate operation of LIVE trucks. Responsible for checking out gear at the beginning of shift and checking gear in at the end of the shift. Responsible for reporting any malfunctions or technical issues with gear and equipment.REQUIRED WORK EXPERIENCE : Previous experience shooting video in a TV news environment. Non linear editing experience

Yeah we do all that...But they go the extra mile and list their physical requirements....

ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL FUNCTIONS : Lifting and carrying up to 100 pounds. Sitting, standing, kneeling, crouching, reaching, stooping, handling, fingering, pushing and pulling. Works inside and outside throughout the year and may be exposed to extreme weather

100 pounds, is that all? Oh, Yeah....that's about it. Not very often really.

But now that you've read this description of my job you'll know that if your looking for me, you might find me inside, crouching and reaching for something to handle or finger while pushing and pulling then kneeling before standing to lift it up take it outside and stooping to let it down.

Or something like that.


Anonymous said...

Chris... aren't you taking this a little too seriously? I mean MY GOD... SOME position HAS to come last. Sorry... but it just happened. It was random. What if the reporter position had been placed last? Does that make the reporter LESS of a journalist? No. Get a grip.

You are a PHOTOGRAPHER. Cool job... takes talent... BIG DEAL! You aren't a brain surgeon or an Army General... you are a PHOTOG. You are no better or no worse than an anchor or a reporter or a news director.

You photogs are taking your positions WAY too seriously. I AM SORRY you don't get the credit you desire. I am sorry they don't intro packages with the reporters AND the photogs name. But you knew this going in. You chose to be BEHIND the camera. Now enjoy it and quit whining.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
...aren't you taking this a little too seriously?

Well if the general public knew just who did what work on TV then the anchors and reporters would be laughed at not admired. Imagine if stations didn't spend all that time telling you how great the on air 'celebrities' are?

Every storm season the only time you see a reporter out in the weather is for a quick on camera shot. Who risks their lives in the conditions, hey certainly not the producer who sent them out, and not the anchor that sits there high and dry.

The best footage in dangerous situations was when the photog risks their lives, and the public only sees the talking heads.

Do we take it way too seriously, hell yes. As Chris says without the camera it is all talk. Unfortunatley the pay also mirrors the situation where great photographers are paid little money due to the fact that they are not only behind the scenes, they are forgotten about.

Now enjoy it and quit whining. Hey how do you get through doors with a head as big as yours?

Try working on the other side of the camera and pay scale and see how you like it!