Thursday, January 20, 2005

Backpack journalist wanted

Attention aspiring broadcasters:
If there was any doubt about the way TV news is heading, here it is in black and white from Gannett's WLTX-TV:

WLTX-TV, the Gannett owned CBS affiliate in Columbia, SC is looking for a "Backpack Journalist" - a reporter/photographer/editor who will produce content on air and offline. As a Backpack Journalist, you'll turn strong local stories that make a difference. You'll use the latest technology, including lightweight next generation photography and editing equipment. The successful candidate must be a good writer who understands storytelling, teamwork, live TV, and the family values that exist in the South. We're looking for a pioneer in the next generation newsgathering. Please fax or mail resume, VHS tape, and references. (full job listing at S.C. Broadcasters Association; note that the page may change as jobs are added, so you might have to search)
Now, there are a lot of one-man bands out there in smaller markets. But this is a top-100 market. And from what I know of the job, that "writing" includes filing the Web -- and quickly. (Hmmmm, wonder what "understands ... the family values that exist in the South" is code for.)

My understanding is that Gannett intends to see if it can pull this off at its smaller stations. If so, watch out. Of course, we know that no one follows what the big G does. After all, no newspapers made major changes after USAToday came out, did they?


At 12/6/05, 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Backpack Journalist position sounds absolutely great. I'm currently an undergrad at the USC SJMC and I also have expierence as a professional web developer. When it comes to web development and broadcast journalism - they're like my second natures. If only this job were open to college students. Well, maybe one day. But reading their employment opportunity makes me just want to run right down to WLTX and say, "here i am, send me..."

At 12/13/05, 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey the backpack journalist of today seem to be rising - I'm excited about it. O' what a tangled web... oh you know the rest...

At 3/9/06, 6:09 PM, Blogger One-Man-Banding Brian said...

It will be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out. I personally welcome the possible shift to one-man-band style reporting, and these days reporters are expected to produce web content anyway. I love to shoot and write my own stories. However, in most smaller stations I’ve noticed most reporters are “forced” to shoot and don’t take much pride in doing so. While in larger markets where there are dual roles photographers seem to shy away from the idea. Bottom line, it’s a great opportunity for me, but I wonder if it is a great idea for the quality of broadcast journalism.

At 11/8/06, 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

KARE has one of these posted right now.

At 12/21/06, 1:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people can be backpack journalists, but most can't be all things to all media. The switch to generalism (so the corps like Gannett can maintain their 25 percent profit margins) means more mediocrity, even lower circulation and the hastening of the suicide of newspapers. But the suits who will oversee it will get big bonuses even as their newsrooms are shrinking in size and their products diminishing in quality. Welcome to news, corporate style. Will the last newspaperman out the door please turn off the presses and shut down the wensite?

At 4/10/09, 8:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I am a freelance journalist, working in Florida. What they don't say here is that they expect their "backpack journalists" to work for FREE!

There are several stations in the metro Tampa area doing that, they even request cellphone videos several times during their broadcasts--and of course the quality of their news is terrible. We used to watch several of these stations, but with their insistence on free, you get what you pay for--nothing!

See my site


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