THE WRITTEN WARD - Some Light Reading

Published: Feb. 2, 2017 at 8:52 PM MST
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Field crews love February.

Here’s a little behind the scenes information most people don’t think about much.

Being a TV reporter or photographer involves a lot of scrambling to get things ready on time. That’s especially true when there is a breaking news story. For our field crews just about any story involves a live report during the newscast. There’s a lot to prepare before a reporter can “go live” during a newscast.

For a 10 p.m. newscast the list of requirements always includes lights. It’s another step that can take up time when there is no time to spare. For a 5:30 p.m. newscast it includes lights, but not year round.

That’s why crews in the field love February. By about February 1st, there is no need for lights during a 5:30 live report or a live shot as we call it. It may not seem like much, but in a breaking news scramble it can be the difference between making your time slot or not, or at least the difference between seeming relaxed and ready, or frantic and breathless because you've been setting up equipment!

Take a look at a screen grab from our 5:30 newscast on January 10th.

11 News reporter Katie Pelton in the dark, an impossible shot without lights.

By January 26th, 11 News reporter Adam Uhernik just has a little bit of lighting on his face, the background is pretty easy to see.

Jan. 26 in Pueblo

Finally, February first, Katie again, no light needed.

Feb. 1 in Colorado Springs

I spent 17 years as a reporter in the field before I became a full-time anchor. It’s so much easier when you don’t need lights.

Oh – there’s still that one reason that field crews don’t like February. It can still be cold and windy and raw during that live report – numb fingers for the photog, numb lips for the reporter. That makes it hard to talk, lights or not. That’s another story.

We’ll talk again soon.


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