Platypus: new name for an old concept : LUSENET : Dirck Halstead : One Thread

There seems to a growing concern whether or not still photojournalists are a dying breed, so Mr. Halstead one day apparently decided to bring the "photojournalists" over to television. Guess what? There were already plenty of us over here! And there still are. I learned still photography during my military service in the '60s, and if it hadn't been for a chance meeting in college with a friend's husband who made industrial films, I too might have wound up a frustrated still photographer shooting for some dull daily in the midwest. (In fact, I did shoot for a dull daily in Georgia, in addition to writing features and sports.) I spent seven years in small and medium market news departments learning the craft and science of television news production (first shooting S-8 and 16mm film, then on the earliest ENG rigs, sometimes doing my own bad standups), and the next 20 years in a large market shooting (and sometimes producing) exactly the kind of stories the "digital journalists" seem to think they only just thought up. I'm growing tired of people who think they are the first to take complete creative control by shooting a project one-man-band. If you had ever worked in a small television market, you'd realize how dated the concept is. If you have ever seen some of the wonderful work by Jon Alpert, ditto. Same thing with those who believe only the new digital technology will allow "producers" (or digital journalists or "playtpi" [???] to shepherd a project from car crash to Emmy. In the real world of video journalism, the truth is that many managers and their assignment desks -- given the choice of sending a reporter or a photographer out with some reasonable expectation of returing with an airable story -- well, you get the picture (pun intended). We television "shooters" learned many years ago how to enterprise pieces and sell them to our producers (how do you think all those NPPA TVPOYs earned their well-deserved recognition?). You do a disservice to those of us who have been acheiving for years the very goals you have set forth for your adherents. That's my vent.

Richard Crabbe WXIA Television, Atlanta, GA

-- Richard Crabbe (, December 12, 2000

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