I just can’t handle the pace. I’m tired. Some days exhausted. And I don’t recover at almost 65 like I did 10 or even five years ago.
It’s not like being a newspaper reporter, where — especially these days of limited staff and almost-non-existent travel budgets — most of your work is done in the office, on the phone, and a story can be turned in a hurry.
You’re expected to know more and tell more in the newspaper game. You work sources more, dig deeper, explain things to greater detail.
But you don’t have to chase around getting people on camera for interviews, collecting valid, entertaining b roll and doing all the equipment fiddling it takes to put it all together in a logical, hopefully compelling way and send off to Sioux Falls.
As a newspaper reporter, I can make one call to Allen or Winner or Custer or Timber Lake and another to Pierre or D.C. and have a pretty good story. As a TV reporter, I have to go there, then convince people to go on camera — which is harder than facing a notebook or a phone receiver.
As my assignment editor Dexter likes to say: “Without pictures, we’re just high-priced radio” [Kevin Woster, Facebook post, 2016.08.25].
Wow—I don’t even like taking the time to upload trimmed video to Facebook and punch in the date and location. One out of four times, I still hit “Power” instead of “Record” on my camera. Woster makes clear that quality TV is much harder than it looks.
Woster says he plans to take a break for family and fishing time, then take up writing part-time. While I await Kevin’s call to ask to be a weekly guest columnist (much worse pay, Kevin, but better hours and easier editorial policy!), I offer your after-dinner questions:
- Who are the future Kevin Wosters?
- What reporters today are as deeply entwined in South Dakota culture as Woster?
- Can contemporary corporate media foster such journalists?