THE NEWS BUSINESS IS A CHANGING!

THE CHRON’S JASON AND MICHAEL DEAL WITH MULTIPLE DUTIES LIKE THE REST OF THE MEDIA!

With so many corporate cutbacks and layoffs many news outlets are struggling to survive.  If advertisers are not spending then your local television station and newspaper are not making any money.  That means those who work in the industry have to work harder to hold onto their positions.  

As one news manager once said you have to do more with less to keep your gig.  That’s exactly what’s being done in Houston.  No longer are there large web staffs transcribing reporter’s stories.  Reporters are doing it themselves in addition to their on air duties.  No longer are newspapers like the Houston Chronicle leaving the video to television stations.  They’re shooting footage themselves.
That leads me to this post.  I ran into two newspaper employees.  Jason Whitmer and Michael Paulsen.  Both are camera lugging photographers for the Chronicle.  Jason, who’s been with the newspaper giant for 10 months, was hired for a very specific purpose.  His job is to capture the video. Hanging around his shoulder is a professional grade high definition camera.  Anything captured by his eagle eye will be placed on Chron.com.  If you would’ve caught Whitmer ten years ago his position wouldn’t have existed at the Chronicle.  
Jumping from angle to angle is still photographer Michael Paulsen.  He’s been a part of the Houston newspaper for the last 4 months.  But not only is he taking still photos, he whips out his handy cam and shoots video.  This is part of his job description. Their responsibilities tell us we’re in a changing business.  A business that demands more from an employee with less.  
When asked what the Chronicle workers think about their changing roles in the field, they tell the Insite, “it keeps us on our toes.” 
But Paulson and Whitmer are no different than the Insite.  If you catch me out on a scene I’m dragging a still camera and a laptop.  I’m writing for the web and taking pictures for a blog.  But I think I’m one of the few reporters who love the challenge.  There’s nothing like covering every aspect of a story.  After all, it’s now part of the job description.  It’s also a requirement if you want to keep your job in this changing news business.  
By the way, Jason and Michael – thanks for dropping by the Insite!