TV reporters must be jacks of all trades: Kurtz

Reporters who once arrived on the scene with a full camera crew are often expected to shoot and edit video themselves nowadays. Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz examines this trend in a recent column, “In lean times, TV reporters must be jacks of all trades.”

Kurtz writes:

“Whatever the pluses and minuses, a trend that took root in local television is spreading to the pricier precincts of network news as well. When ABC News recently announced a massive wave of buyouts that could cut 300 to 400 jobs — up to 25 percent of the workforce — executives said its journalists would be expected to report, shoot and edit their own stories in addition to relying on film crews. All the networks, including ABC, have dabbled in the practice. But in an era of layoffs and shuttered offices — ABC will have no physical bureaus outside Washington — it is quickly becoming a necessity…In practice, the move spares networks and stations from having to hire freelance crews, or send out a typically large contingent: reporter, cameraman, sound man, satellite truck operator.”