Monday, February 18, 2008

Hero Worship not a journalistic thing to do


In this celebrity-crazed world, it is difficult to not do a little "hero worshipping" when a celebrity appears. This may have been the case for some young journalists who covered the visit of Hillary Clinton to South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley as she drummed up support for her Democratic bid for president. Even professionals have a problem with this and, reportedly,  with visits from Barack Obama (whose photo is fetured with this post), Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy and other politicos in the horizon, the possibilities of someone getting a case of the "heroes" is more prevalent than ever. Young reporters must focus when covering important stories like a visit of a top presidential candidate to the area. They must remember that they are there on an assignment and not on a leisurely stroll down ga-ga land. To be able to accomplish this, a young reporter must prepare throughly for the assignment. Because there is a chance he or she may get "tongue-tied (a case or the heroes will do this)," questions must be prepared in advance. It is advisable, also, to carry a digital recorder just in case the "heroes" turn into jitters. Being prepared, for a journalist, is nothing new. Getting a case of the "heroes," however, can foil even a veteran reporter's attempt to get the story. So, stay calm, stay focused and get that story. Enjoy the moment. And, remember, nothing can replace the feeling of seeing your byline on an important story. Now, if you remember that, you can do your own hero worshipping. So, be a hero and get that story, no matter who or what is staring you in the face.

7 comments:

Stephanie Villarreal said...

I do think this is true. But I personally wouldn't go all crazy for a presidential candidate or a politician. Good blog though.

Stephanie Villarreal
Editorial Writing

Long Time Hoggie said...

Stephanie, you never know til you're in that situation. One of The South Texan's stronger reporters actually froze during the Hillary interview.

jerseygirl85 said...

While working on an assignment today I almost was star struck when I got to stand next to Joe Gazin. I've watched him for as long as I can remeber reporting the news everynight, and now here I am getting the story while standing right next to him. I had to remind myself that I was there for Obama and not Joe Gazin, LOL. It was a great! ~Kristie Ann Vela

J.R. Quintanilla - Administrator said...

I can certainly see the point to why hero worship must be avoided at all costs. At the very least this should not happen until the scoop has been served. I didn't get to stand next to Joe Gazin, but as a learning experience, I learned the value of being your own photographer and learning how to get the scoop. While a difficult task some might think, I don't think it is impossible and frankly would love the opportunity to do both. At least I know I will have access to the pictures I took.

Long Time Hoggie said...

J.R. - if you're not working for a small paper where you do every thing, you will cover it only as a reporter. Taking pictures for souvenirs is not an objective and should never be considered. Of course, photographers have that option. In a case like us, where we are not yet at the daily newspaper area, taking a personal camera could be allowed and probably a good idea. Congratulations on your stories and your perseverance in your first "celebrity" assignment - former President Bill Clinton.

Pamela said...

I actually had the opportunity to see Obama and took footage of him. I was feet away from him when he came down to shake hands with the people. I have to say I forgot my composure and started acting like a crazed fan. I don't know what came over me!

Long Time Hoggie said...

Pamela, it's okay to do this when you're just a spectator. So, you did nothing wrong. Still, you can understand how people can get excited. Thanks for your comment.