Monday, February 25, 2008

The Legacy of Eric White

Whitey may be gone, but like a good man, he left a helluva legacy.

Friday, February 22, 2008

High School Newsman

This hit's home...and one day I'm going to pull out the VHS collection, digitize those bad boys and prove it but first here's Network News Proof that a teenager with a passion will do what it takes to live the dream.

This 16 year old has his own News Webcast, from his bedroom....CBS's Steve Hartman featured him on Assignment America...

(BTW - I love that CBS has embeddable video)

And then young Mr. Harris turned the tables on Steve for his own show...

AND one of Rodney's latest News 14 Webcast....

VJs Coming to the LA Times

In a Recent post at his blog Michael Rosenblum congratulates Tim French for his new job at the LA Times. Tim's new job as Rosenblum tell's it...

"...he will both be a VJ, but will also work on a team that is going to train, as I understand it, more than 100 LA Times staffers to be VJS."

Goodness...that's enough to give Britney Spears a nervous breakdown.....nevermind.

Anway does LA really need 100 more camera totin’ newbies chasing after celebrities, amblulances or even, God help 'em, real news?

Doing the math in the LA Metro area the 100 VJs would be 1 for every 170-thousand people. So if we added a VJ system here in the Greensboro DMA we'd only need 9 VJs at the local paper.

And as Michael says...

"Well, Los Angeles is a big town, and it’s nice that at least one local media
company things you can cover LA with more than 11 crews! I think the LA Times is
going to give the local news guys a stroke. And about time. "

I doubt the local TV Guys give a shit. They have more than 11 crews on the streets. (We have more than that here in little ol' Greensboro). And anyway. 100 VJs would produce way more TV than could be broadcast in any given news day...much less be watched online.

Some stories BEG to be covered as a video story as well they should…but 100 stories a day…even 50…hell even 25...most people don't have time for that.

At some point, regardless of the economy of a one man crew, 100 staffers with cameras waters down the product to the point it’s not worth it, both for the viewers trying to wade through a muck of mosty average video and for the company that ends up with a drowning business model.

I will watch closely to see what they DO choose to show as video stories because sometimes organizations like the LA Times and other historically print journalists forget (or don't realize)that although every story can done in print NOT every story can be done (well) in video.

Only Video Stories done well, that are interesting and somewhat entertaining really matter because the rest won’t be watched.(and this isn't about's about good content) I mean just look at what get's numbers on YouTube and other video sites.

I can shoot the hell out of a City Council meeting and get all the right shots and all the right interviews but that doesn't hold a candle to a great story where people area actually doing things and not sitting on their asses.

A Picture's Worth a Thousand...

It's funny how a simple picture can inspire people.

I posted this picture on of Eric White standing in the middle of the yet to be opened Urban Loop around Greensboro.


But then Rad had to open the can of worms, wondering outloud for a truck to be photoshopped into the picture.

And then this thing took on a life of it's own...



And I even played along making one of my own..though I am using an inferior program.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Whitey's Final Days

Eric "Whitey" White is in his final 3 days at WGHP and then he'll be movin on to bigger and better.


It was kind of like de ja vu getting up on the bride in the 40/85 work zone again....and it may just be the last time Whitey and I spend a work day together.


But it won't likely be the last time we hang out. We had a good time last Friday night midnight bowling with everyone from work...

...but we hope to have a good outing in Nashville again next year as Whitey works there and I only visit once a year.


Good workin' with ya Whitey!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lucky Trumps Good

I love it when a plan comes together.

Really. Well, Sort of.

I had a scheduled edit day for a consumer story that airs Friday but some surprise winter weather dumped several inches of snow - depending on the location - on the Triad of NC and therefore pulled me out of the edit bay and onto the streets...sans-reporter.

I was tasked with finding kids playing with whatever happened to be left of the snow as the sun shined down and the temperature cracked 35 degrees.

I was less than optimistic but I had a plan. My plan was simple. Get lucky. That's it.

I knew where the heaviest snowfall was so I drove to north Greensboro in search of a kid laden neighborhood. After driving through a few neigborhoods I finally found one where the houses looked promising.

Snow Day

I turned down a side street and then another...and that's where I saw THEM. One adult, two children, one sled. I crossed my fingers and wished silently that they were headed to a hill and not home from one.

My wish was granted. I gathered my footage over the course of about 40 minutes, getting as many different angles as sled runs they slid. After a few quick interviews, two impromptu snowball fights and more neighborhood children coming out to get on TV I had more than enough for good TV.

Back to the shop I had to log the disc, write the story, get a pretty voice to read the track, and edit. And I had given myself plenty of time...which is unusual for me.

The story aired at 5 and since weather was our lead, it was our lead story...a very featurish story about how kids spent their snowday.

Watch the Story HERE

Thursday, February 07, 2008


It's been a busy January and now February. I've been working on an investigative followup to the 1000 dog puppymill Hillsville, Virginia that was raided in November by local Animal control and national Humane Society officers.


In late January reporter Angela Rodriguez and I traveled to Hillsville incognito to shoot undercover video of the puppy place. We watched as this puppy was purchased by a representative of Virginia P.A.W.S.


The puppy buy was a bit more in-depth than that, with Angela and I posing as a couple looking for a dog with the other lady acting as a relative who ended up purchasing the dog for P.A.W.S., an animal welfare group.

It was quite interesting as we became buddy buddy with the employee who handles dog sales. He told us more and more as we talked. Good Stuff.


We took the dog to a veteranarian about 70 miles away and he gave the dog an objective lookover. We didn't tell the vet how or where we got the dog nor that we were doing a news story and he still pegged the dog as a puppymill pup.

The dog has a deformed sternum and a severely enlarged heart and may not live a full healthy life.

We took our undercover video to the prosecuter, county manager, and animal control officials in the county where the puppymill is and although they bregrudingly allowed us to roll our cameras while they watched they seemed interested in what they saw.

The owners, say the employee, plan on building back up their breeding stock. They keep small dogs and pregnant dogs outdoors with no heat. And until the animal control officer saw our tape, the puppymill had not brought their wire bottomed indoor puppy cages up to code by providing a place for the puppys to lay.

The animal control officer visited the place just 2 days after watching our footage and the kennel quickly made the code adjustment.

As I wrapped up my fourth trip to Hillsville (alone this time) I was confronted by the family after I broke my cover to shoot the B-roll needed for the story. As I rolled disc the family started quizing me about my presence near they land and I quized them back about their intentions and the future of their kennels.

A quote directed toward the Humane Sociedt that struck me as defining--- "We're going to rub their noses in it because we're tired of them messing with us." They said they'd get as many relatives to get individual kennel permits as needed to get their stock back up to the 1000+ range.

The 2 stories we produced from this effort can be seen here...



"Tricks of the Puppy Trade"


I suck.

I've been neglecting the blog again but I've also been very, very (and one more), very busy with work and personal stuff, including the barn I'm still building that should have been done by Christmas.


And there I am having fun. What was I thinking?