Photo Courtesy Mario Page
The 2009 NABJ Conference
in Tampa, Florida is a wrap for me. It was a busy week of networking, catching up with old friends, making new ones, and sharing some knowledge.
On Wednesday, I participated in a daylong discussion about freelancing. The day included panel discussions, and break out sessions for the participants. We covered everything from how to structure your business, to sharing tips, and the mistakes we’ve made.
Thursday morning, I returned to WTVT-TV to visit my former station. It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since I worked in Tampa, and though the station has changed a bit, some things haven’t. The highlight of the day was running into veteran cameraman Marc Zewalk (WTVT-TV) at the conference. He interviewed me about my thoughts on the state of the media.
That afternoon I participated on another panel discussion organized by fellow Atlanta journalist Faith Murphy Knight entitled, “Lost Your Beat. Land on Your Feet.” The discussion focused on helping journalists figure out how to rebound after a job loss, or transition into another profession.
Here are a few observations:
The job fair was sparse: NBC wasn’t even even here this year, and normally that is the must visit company. It’s an indication of the state of the industry. Few are hiring, though one talent agent I spoke to said that people are being placed. It has to be extremely competitive.
Journalists seem to be behind the curve when it comes to digital and social media: Many of the break out sessions focused on digital media, social media, or career transitioning. In general I believe that many traditional journalists will be replaced by a new generation of media makers who understand how to navigate social networks, report, write, and produce multi-media.
As a broadcast journalist, it is obvious that the one-man-band reporting jobs will soon dominate the industry. Most big market TV stations across the country are hiring video journalists, and one CBS news manager told me that he tells all veteran reporters to at least know how to edit, and all students to know how to do it all.
On top of that, jobs are being phased out to cut costs. My former station is finally getting robotic cameras which will put camera operators out of work. A new graphics system is now in place and the producers now create their own over the shoulder graphics, and like many shops, there have been layoffs.
I have to give a special thanks to the City of Tampa, WTVT-TV, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists, NABJ, AABJ, FMK, Chad Soriano (thanks for the phots), Mario Page, Xavier with Rent-A-Center, Marc Zewalk, Daphne and Devin Channel, and all you storytellers who are trying to survive.
NABJ’S NEW PRESIDENT & OFFICERS
The FEED’S NABJ Wrap
NABJ09 Flickr Photos
NABJ09 LeBron James event (live blog)
If you find any other good links share them, and I’ll post.