Journalism

Six things every small station reporter wants you to know

A crazy, beautiful weekend combined with a dual life in Maryland and Virginia has caused me to be a couple days late.

I’ve been thinking about what I want viewers to know for awhile. Mostly, because a million times in the course of my work day I think, “Maybe people wouldn’t yell at us through emails if they knew what was going on behind the scenes.”

So let’s begin.

1. We read the Facebook comments on our stories. I’m now going to yell at you through caps just like I didn’t want you to yell at me: WE READ THE COMMENTS.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but when people attack our appearance, writing and intelligence, it’s not going to some Internet black-hole. It’s reaching us directly.

Additionally, when viewers send an email complaining about the way an anchor pronounces a word, how fat a reporter looks or how ugly the meteorologist’s hair is that day, they are sending it to the ENTIRE newsroom. Not just our boss or the mysterious local television wizard.

A viewer once sent an email to what I think she assumed was my boss.

Well, it did go to my boss, and me and 30 of my coworkers.

I had to delete it immediately because it felt like a punch to my gut, but she basically did not care for my personality, appearance or overall presence in the world.

She attached a photo and her resume and explained that she had an associates degree in communications and deserved to be considered too if they actually hired me.

When I think about this now, I’m actually impressed by how much effort she put into this email. They’re usually along the lines of this: “u suck.”

2. We have no hair or makeup artists, nor do we have a hair or makeup budget. We have all mastered YouTube makeup tutorials.

Also, while we’re discussing appearances, I wear a dress every day because I don’t feel like matching a top and bottom, not because I enjoy carrying around 30 pounds of equipment in a dress.

lester

3. If you yell, “FHRITP” and no, I’m not going to write out what that means, you’re basically saying to us, “Hi! I’m human garbage and I have no respect for you, your career or women in general!” I know it seems like a harmless joke, but it’s jarring, unwanted and makes us feel like we’re 12 again and just being noticed by men for the first time.

follower.jpg

4.  We hold on to the positive viewers and comments. A lot of the people I have worked with save sweet emails and read them when they’re down. I can’t tell you how meaningful they are when we’re often wading in a sea of negativity.

5.  Sometimes we are just straight-up dumb. Do you ever do something at work and think, “Wow, I should not be allowed to make any more decisions for the rest of this day”?

Well, we do too, but it’s literally broadcast to thousands of people.

6. If you see one of us trying to get what we call “man-on-the-street” interviews, please be a baby angel and rescue us by coming over and giving us an intelligent answer.

If you are a human with a face and mouth hole, you are eligible to answer whatever question I’m going to throw out at you.

The best comparison for this is when I worked at Dairy Queen in the mall and was forced to hand out samples to shoppers.

In that moment, I would have sawed off my own leg with a Blizzard spoon just to unload my tray and scurry back behind the counter.

dairy-queen
Baby Sarah pumping cocoa fudge into a blizzard like a champ.

It’s the same thing with trying to get these interviews. SAVE ME FROM THIS PUBLIC HUMILIATION.

No matter what, I adore my job. I would accept raisins as compensation.

Meeting people and telling stories brings me joy.

In my personal life, I continue to write my own story. There is still so much that is yet to be figured out, but for now, that’s just fine.

FYI, I tried to end this blog with an ambiguous, but hopeful quote and my dad told me it was like I was “digging up a body and having a second funeral.”

Love,

Sarah

Advertisements

One thought on “Six things every small station reporter wants you to know

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s