Anyway, long story short. Somewhere during lunch we started discussing the state of the media and me as usual started moaning about our plight and silently thanking my lucky stars that the marketing buffon who destroyed our finances and couldn’t pimp a Hollywood Actress in Dubai if you asked him to, works for our rivals now. Again, I digress – that is the problem with stream of consciousness writing – its comes out as an incomprehensible babble.
So, I mentioned layoffs and how they had been rather severe at Archana Complex among other places. Suddenly, my host piped up, “Are things really bad there?” she asked and continued to tell me a rather bizarre tale involving the channel that operates out of a movie hall. It seems that a reporter pitched a story to them, and they seemed agreeable and asked when she wanted to come down. And prompt came the reply that whenever they would fly her down.
Now, all of us travel on other companies expense. Heck, I just went outside the country. But never in a way where I ‘pitch’ the story and then insist on being flown down and wined and dined. So, my host called up the channel boss to figure out why this was so and it seems that this is now accepted policy at this particular organisation. Which made me swallow my ice-cream.
Guys have done bizarre things, and I know costs are pinching but this seems a bit too much. I can understand that the reporter did not want to hand the story over to her local colleague, some reporters, actually all reporters are extremely possessive of stories, well, I’m not but I’m a sort of ‘fire and forget’ sort of reporter and if someone else can do the story, big deal. At least now. I guess that is because a level of pragmatism has filtered into my life.
That said, if the story is good enough I am sure getting travel approvals passed can’t be that difficult. Now if you insist on travelling with a cavalcade (camerapersons) then, well. See, I have some opinions on the future of news gathering and distribution, but this much is for certain, multiple people doing one story is going to become a thing of the past for run of the mill stories – I shoot pictures and do it decently well and am figuring out lights right now. Concept photography and Live TV will still need camerapersons and photographers but not armies of them. Heck, with next-generation networks I suppose we will have live-streaming through services like Qik, I played with the Nokia N97 yesterday and that is what reporters will be expected to do, sooner than you think.
But more about all of that later. This was a surprising piece of news, and coming from an extremely large company, I believe it – they’re more credible than the news channel. And after this piece of news, I wonder how much credibility is left. Then again, isn't that what this blog is all about?