Editors Note:


EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Bones of Calamity

Deskbound Producers Hurling Me Into The Void...

If one wants to romanticize it, the role of TV news photog can be considered fraught with peril. After all, we race to the edge of tragedy at every chance - brandishing betacams and bellicosity. We prod the vanquished with provocative questions, swarm handcuffed strangers like hungry jackals, and rip apart the still-warm bones of calamity.

Once we've secured out electronic bounty, we hold up inside our great lumbering beasts, raise their awkward masts and pray they don't bristle with electricity. If we survive, we find the highest perch, hoist our mic flags and shout at the tops of our lungs, a braying screech filled with hype, laced with pablum and peppered with natural sound.

The bravest amongst us pull off these daring feats in hostile territory - documenting the unfolding history of the world for cash and bragging rights. You'll know them by their swagger, and all the free drinks they enjoy.

Trouble is - I'm not much of a romantic. Instead, I 'm a grizzled realist - one who used to knock down old ladies to be the first on scene, but now travels at a more leisurely pace. The older I get the safer I feel. What scares me most are desk-bound producer-types who think nothing of hurling me into the void.

Provide the improbable enough times, and they'll begin to expect broadcast miracles on a daily basis. The haste to satiate their E.N.G. hunger is a dangerous force, and one that can end your pulse in the most unglamorous of locales.

Frankly, I worry more about being t-boned by a semi, than about being fried on the insides by bolts from above, or felled by a conical projectile. When I worry at all.

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