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Re: Moving on from news

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Mike CohenRe: Moving on from news
by on Jun 16, 2010 at 7:11:04 pm

Media workers tend to be either storytellers or technicians or a combination. Murch is a master storyteller who uses whatever technical tools are required to make his magic. The guy who switches the 6pm news obviously has some technical skill if he is driving a multi-bus switcher every night.

I work outside broadcast, and wear many hats - shooter, editor, photoshop artist, designer, audio editor, voice over artist. Any or all of these skills help me get the job done.

So don't get hung up on X skill or Y skill - you probably need them all, but they are a means to an end to become a master storyteller, rather than a technician.

I am obviously simplifying things.

Some years ago I trained a new employee in on-line tape-based editing in our gradually dying Ampex bay. But he grasped the concepts of both storytelling (the Cine-Med version) and enough of the technical aspects to be effective. He had come from freelancing in news, doing studio camera, teleprompter, Chyron. After a couple of years he went back to news to be a TD, so clearly the technical side was his forte.
Fast forward to the present, and he has his dream job - he switches SportsCenter on ESPN.

So figure out what you are good at. If you are really good at technical things, learn what you need to learn and get jobs that will move your career forward. Likewise if you are really good at telling stories, learn what you need in order to not only do the job you are currently doing, but to do the job you want to be doing.

And follow whatever Bob Zelin says.

Mike Cohen

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