Informational interview: inside of organization

I was able to complete quite a few informational interviews while at Local 4, but I’d like to reflect most on my discussions with one of the station’s photojournalists. After being first introduced to this photographer, I ended up going along with him to many different events, conferences, VO/SOT runs and more while I was working. Those at the station really try to get the interns out into the field and with their reporters so as to learn the “tricks of the trade.”

I wanted to talk more with this photojournalist because he is quite the opposite from the reporter with whom I had my informational interview outside of my internship, as she is a print news reporter while he is a broadcast photographer. She is still fairly young in the field while he has had a much longer experience. He also does morning editing and then shifts to spend the rest of his day as a photographer. So, I wanted to talk with him because he has a very different experience in the field than I ever see myself doing, and I wanted to see what it was all about, especially with regard to what is similar from broadcast to print, what I would be interested in doing if I were to be in broadcast and what the day-to-day looks like for a photographer rather than an anchor or producer.

I learned a lot about the way a professional news room functions just by talking to and later, shadowing, this photographer; this photographer works from 2:30 am to 11:30 am and can be sent to a variety of things to cover – which is a big part of why he enjoys his job so much! For example, after he is done editing (ending around 6:00 or 7:00 am), he can be sent to anything from court hearings or sentencings, local feel-good events, press conferences with the Mayor or similar city administrators, or breaking news scenes, depending on what time it occurred. He only goes out with a few of the morning reporters, but it seems he more often works by himself. For him, this is often enjoyable as he is able to conduct interviews himself and really get to know the sources. He also likes to edit much of his own work so as to ensure the full story that he obtained in his audio and video are relayed to viewers. This photographer has a knack for planning the story out in terms of the angle and tone he wants to use, and he knows what questions to ask so as to get emotional responses that an audience would want to see. He also does not rush when he edits his pieces and he pays attention to every detail. I was able to shadow this photographer not only out in the field, but also when he was editing; he works with multiple channels of audio and video at a time to get the best story possible. A lot of the younger photographers look up to him due to his work ethic and dedication. There isn’t much that this photographer did that he didn’t care about – instead, he worked hard on every piece and thought everything through.

I can apply a lot of what I learned by talking to and shadowing this photographer, especially with regard to interviewing. He was able to obtain a lot of emotional responses from his sources by asking certain questions, and this ultimately led to a better story! I hope to use these types of questions in my work this year at the Daily and eventually, throughout my career. I was also able to practice stand-ups with him and he was very constructive, meaning he was able to correct certain behaviors I exhibited that wouldn’t be great for broadcast, and he encouraged other things I did that made a good intro or stand-up. I appreciated this photographer’s help throughout my internship and glad I had the opportunity to talk with him.

One thought on “Informational interview: inside of organization

  • August 21, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    It sounds like this interview turned into a great professional development opportunity!


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