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Bartholomew
02-27-2007, 08:34 AM
Hey all.

I'm trying to get a feel for what happens just before the cameras go on at the site of late-breaking news--the type you see on the local stations.

How do the reporters get interviewees--how do the police generally interact with the news crew? How many people are ussually in said news crew?

Thanks tons,

Bart

Vanatru
02-27-2007, 06:57 PM
Based off my expeirence.

For law enforcment or fire type agencies there is usually a PIO (Public Information Officer). If it's not the PIO dealing with the media it'll be an Lt/Cpt. or battalion chief or even the Sheriff/Police Chief or Fire Chief. If a peon (officer/deputy/FF) is talking with the media, they're either doing it out of school and with the brass hats ok. Now, if they're talkign out of school and are ID'd? They can be in for deep kimchee.

Many times there's no more than two, or three people on a news team. Sometimes just one, the reporter themselves (they set up the camera and all). On average, it's the reporter, the camera person. If theres a third person, it's to run the van equipment.

Some agencies will release a daily press sheet and fax it to all the media outlets. The outlets in turn generally know who the PIO is and will call up their office and make arraingments for an interview.

smallthunder
03-01-2007, 06:03 PM
I'd second what Vanatru wrote. in fact, I think it's rare that a local station will have a three-person team, as even a two-person team is now something of a luxury since the cameras have become so lightweight and simple to use. Plus, it's not like local TV stations have a lot of money to burn, in general.

As for interviews, it is amazing how many agencies have public affairs people to deal with the press. Like, when you think of the staffing needs of a small community hospital, does "press liaison/spokesperson" jump to the top of the list in your mind? Well, nowadays, they do in terms of upper management's mind ...

Aesposito
03-02-2007, 10:49 PM
Hey all.

I'm trying to get a feel for what happens just before the cameras go on at the site of late-breaking news--the type you see on the local stations.

How do the reporters get interviewees--how do the police generally interact with the news crew? How many people are ussually in said news crew?

Thanks tons,

Bart


I had a brief stint as a TV reporter before I regained my sanity and went into radio (and then into firefighting, but that's another story, LOL).

More often than not, it was me, me and only me with a camera and a van. Of course this was the 153rd market. A larger market may have two people (reporter and cameraperson). Almost no one has a three-man crew anymore unless they are seriously unionized....

Police are almost always used to interacting with news crews. At bigger incidents they will set aside an area for them and put a PIO there to talk to them. News crews in bigger markets won't interview anyone but the PIO and eye witnesses, but in smaller markets where everyone knows everyone, that may be different.

Audrey

britwrit
03-04-2007, 05:23 PM
Of course, in small towns you don't see as many flacks running about trying to protect their turf. I worked for a 20,000-circulation paper in Missouri some years back and eventually, the reporters get to know the cops, detectives, EMTs well enough that there's no need for press people. A lot of the reporters were locals who grew up with them, so you had that in common.

The town eventually did hire a PIO but since everybody went around him anyway, he spent most of his time working up a really, really spiffy newsletter.

Minister
03-07-2007, 04:39 AM
It really depends on the scope and nature of the event, as well as the localle.

The TV camera crews (in this area, about evenly split between one and two-person crews, with the scale of the event often determining whether one person or two show from a given station) who get in the way of my newspaperly journalism here (I jest, but only a little) generally just barge in, push their way to the front and grab people to interview.

Since I work for a paper in a county on the outskirts of a city, the news crews often don't really know the people on the scene or what is going on -- they may know the city fine, but they don't know the country out here. That's fine if the event is a tornado -- they'll just grab the person who looks like they know what's going on or looks most shaken or most whatever seems best for the event.

For something more political, they're trying to find out who the key players are and interview them. Usually, they get their interviews by walking up to the person they're after, sticking a microphone in their face, and saying, "Hi, I'm ____ with ____. What were your thoughts on..."

In more formal settings, there are usually PIOs, etc., as described above.