Tuesday, March 04, 2008

RUH-SPECT: ‘Scoop’ Phillips

I admit it: six weeks into my newsgathering career, I affected a certain swagger, convinced I’d seen all this cruel orb had to offer simply because I’d powered-up on half a dozen ribbon-cuttings. Not Bob “Scoop” Phillips. No, this veteran lenslinger has retained a modicum of serenity even though he’s been churning through daily deadlines for fifty years. Fifty Years! That’s like, I dunno, half a century or somethin’! By the time I hit my golden anniversary, I’ll be a disembodied head floating in a jar back in the equipment room somewhere. But this ain’t about me (for once). This post is for ‘Scoop’, a man who perfected the solo-newsgathering model decades before newspapers and consultants dusted off the idea and called it revolutionary. Working his own sources, asking his own questions, turning stories all by his lonesome…it ain’t easy - especially when you’re sporting the kind of Flintstones-era gear ‘Scoop’ no doubt used back in the day. I just hope WDTN knows what they have in Bob Phillips, a roving camera pedestal with more local news knowledge than could ever be squeezed into a thirty second promo. Local television stations will be lesser vessels when the last of these ENG pioneers head to the fishin’ hole instead of the morning meeting. So do me a favor: dip your lens toward Dayton, Ohio and think of 'Scoop' Phillips today. Just don’t expect him to stop and acknowledge; he’s way too busy kicking the competition’s ass to hear from the likes of us pretenders. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a jar of formaldehyde waiting for me back in the shop...

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