Thursday, 22 November 2012

On the Shoulders of Video Journalists

Last week I submitted my final report for my TV Journalism module - this year, excitingly enough reduced to run less than a single semester to replicate the pressures of a conventional TV newsroom.

Since starting my degree course, I have been fascinated with the TV modules and consistently applied, enjoyed, and done well. Not surprisingly, as being a television journalist has long been a dream of mine. When other children were imagining being footballers or hairdressers or train drivers, I wanted to be a cameraman.
As a precocious eleven-year-old, I visited the Eureka! museum in Halifax where they had a fully functional TV studio, and I soon took charged, shepherding baffled children into place and squeaking out camera orders in tiny, unbroken tones.

"He'll be a director one day!" remarked one parent, probably trying politely to convey "Your child is a terrifyingly bossy control freak." Nevertheless the prophecy was born out, and I have twice produced and directed news programmes on my degree course.

Additionally, I have filmed any number of stories, and if not come to understand, then at least agreed to an uneasy truce with the powerful but inflexible AVID editing tool. Outside of the Gallery and the edit suites, however, my tutors observed my singular nature and tendency to 'lone wolf' off with my reporting - and despite my lack of team player spirit, I always rationalized to myself that this was how video-journalists were expected to work now. I am reporter, camerman, soundman, editor and presenter all rolled into one exhausted figure, lugging tripod, JVC and boom mike around West Yorkshire. Not for nothing did I title this blog post 'on the shoulders...'

Many students come to a journalism degree course with an express intention of qualifying for a set role - I believe I've spoken clearly before on the hordes of Sports Journalists. I set out with no more desire than to discover what I enjoyed, and what I was good at, by attending the course.

I enjoyed beyond expectations the finding, filming and finishing of news stories. Hopefully my marks will bear out my ability as well as my enthusiasm. Soon enough, my youtube channel will be updated with my latest productions so that you can draw your own conclusions. 

Have I decided then, what role I want to follow? It's still up in the air, and graduation is still the other side of some final deadlines... Not to mention the dearth of jobs in the sector for budding video-journalists. But without doubt, it has been the side of journalism I have enjoyed the most.

Mind you, the decision might be made entirely for me - my colleagues were dismissive of me as an anchor because of my long hair, and if asked to choose between fame and flowing locks, well, that's a decision I don't want to have to make...!

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