Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ode to the Cameraman

Former ABC News senior correspondent Jim Wooten files a report for the Columbia Journalism Review detailing the injuries his friend Doug Vogt received while covering the war in Iraq. Vogt, who Wooten describes as 'a modest, soft-spoken Canadian with a flat Alberta accent and the chutzpah of a jewel thief', was riding with newly-minted ABC anchor Bob Woodruff in an Iraqi armored personnel carrier when an IED exploded in the middle of the road and small arms fire erupted from three directions. Soon after, news of the dashing young anchor's life threatening injuries ricocheted across the globe, his veteran photog's slightly less serious wounds mentioned as barely an afterthought. Wooten's report rights that wrong by explaining what an accomplished adventurer Doug Vogt is. Then the veteran TV reporter does something unexpected. He turns his descriptive eye on the legion of cameramen and women he's accompanied to hostile lands and honors them all with an enlightening leer at those 'independent cusses' behind the lens:
There are liberals and conservatives among them; intellectuals, too, as well as plodders and diligent yeomen — and yet without exception, despite their distinct idiosyncrasies, what cameramen and women all have in common is that they know for an undisputed fact that whether anyone says so or not, they are not merely important, they are absolutely essential, and because they clearly understand that, there is about every single one I’ve ever known a muscular sense of self, of dignity and pride in themselves and their work. Individually, they’re very much like the seasoned platoon sergeant who knows that although the lieutenant is ostensibly in charge, he is indispensable. It is his skill and his experience, not the lieutenant’s, that will see the unit through the tough times.
Read the whole thing. Then go buy your favorite photog a drink.

1 comment:

newmediajim said...

Stewart, we're doomed. CJR has erased any vestiges of our existance. The Cameraman is no more. DEAD LINK!