It was supposed to be another day of budget busting stories. My photographer and I had just returned from Franklin County. As we pulled into the gate of the tv station…the phone rang…our assignment editor Dave Seidel says: “Don’t come in, we have a plane crash.” Are you kidding? I really thought he was kidding.
From there it was time to roll out the troops and kick it into high gear. No matter what reporters spent the past few hours working on (in my case, the Franklin County budget), that’s tossed aside. Breaking News requires “mostly” all-hands on deck. TV by no means is a one man show. Photographers quickly have to start shooting video and then start running cable so reporters can report live in the field. Sometimes photog’s have to run cables 1/2 mile or a mile through rough terrain. They also have to set up lighting so you can see the reporters when they come on air – especially if the sun isn’t in the right spot.
These are the things viewers don’t see when all the breaking news is happening. Afterall, why should you? But all of these small task that add up do happen and hopefully, it happens flawlessly… though not always. If ever there’s a big story and you don’t see a reporter(s) “live”, something has probably gone wrong with one of the trucks at the last second. It’s not as easy as flipping a switch and Viola! Soooo many buttons, and chords, and monitors and switches. I personally don’t know what any of them do.
And reporters like myself don’t have time to pay attention to all the set-up normally. We’re busy trying to gather the facts. The who, what,when where, why. Sometimes it’s tough especially when there aren’t witnesses. In this case, tons of people saw the small plane crash near the UPS Freight Building in Roanoke Co. and they WANTED TO TALK.
Eyewitnesses or people in general, don’t always want to go on camera. All of these pictures are just a tiny glimpse of the few people who are pivotal “in the field”. There is so much magic that happens behind the scenes. That also includes the chaos going on in the newsroom (I’ll have to bring you that in another blog). The thing is, tempers flare, co-workers work your nerves, there are nerves going on for all of us. Yes, even I get a case of the jitters right before the anchors toss to me.