Damn that Rosenblum. First we swoops in on troubled TV stations and pedals his concept of a newsroom comprised entirely of one-man-bands. Some outlets bought what he was selling and continue to produce (what I would deem as) mostly mediocre fare. Now the self-styled messiah of local news has cracked open a blog, where he's impressing an awful lot of well-intentioned folk who, when you get right down to it, don't know dick about putting together newscasts. AT least that's how I see it. Then again, I'm no jet-setting contestant. No ex-newspaper guru searching for a new frontier. No elbow-patched professor lording over hapless neophytes with theories borne of morning bravado and afternoon bongwater.
No, I'm just an undereducated cameraman - which according to many self-appointed web experts is a mostly dullard breed, a slack-jawed adventurer bent on routine, not revolution. Still, even a mouth-breather like can sense evolution on the horizon. TV news has stagnated. Lay the blame on the rabid consultants and gutless administrations of a thousand broadcast outlets. In attempting to perfect the form, they homogenized it, until all that was left was a pale husk of a once thriving medium. Couple that malaise with an explosion in persoanl media devices and you have the communications equivalent of Nirvana sending all those hair-metal acts a packin'. But don't toss in yer spandex yet. This battle of the bands ain't nearly over.
Bad music metaphors aside, it's an exciting and frustrating time to be a TV news shooter. (When isn't it?) Digital editing, cell phone acquiaitin and web-based delivery has unearthed countless new chasms for your local camera crew explore. But there's something about the word 'crew' that really cheeses Rosenblum. He contends your favorite newscast would skyrocket in quality if only the two-person teams would go their separate ways - mini-lenses, magic laptops and trucker hats in tow. Okay, so I tacked on that last item, but since this ain't exactly the priesthood we're talking about transforming here, a little smarmy humor is more than called for. Rosenblum seems to agree. His blog, for all its sweeping assertions and attempted mojo, makes for damn interesting reading. It's what makes this cocky little dude in black so hard to totally dismiss.
See, Rosenblum's got a half dozen or so really incisive thoughts about the sorry state of TV news. Were he not so unrelentingly smug about it, he might convince the pros who squint for a living that he ain't pushin' snakewater on the most stricken of station executives. I for one appreciate his stance that solo-newsgatherers can contribute mightly to nightly newscasts. Then again, that's what I've been doing for the better part of 17 years, long before this hated enemy of the career shooter started pouring his kool-aid down the twin tubes of the modern internets. In fact, a small part of me would love to jet down to Nashville (or San Fran, or wherever) and show Rosey and his peeps how a journeyman photog can outpace his Vee-Jays with a good ole, full-size fancy-cam. I believe he'd have me to - if only to coerce me with elixers and maxims. The first week I'm cut free from mortgage-paying, news-making and wife-obeying, I'm there.
Until then, Rosenblum, I'm watching you...