So, I have to admit, I’m pretty amazed that people still recognize me and come up to me on a regular basis. I mean, I’ve been off television now for nearly FOUR years. Can you believe that!!?? And folks still approach me all the time. Some say hi. Some say they love this blog (and I LOVE them for that). Some say they miss seeing me on television – which is really remarkable and wonderful. Some ask questions about what it was like and if I miss it.
Today, the nicest lady wanted to know all about life in the news business. She was sweet – and actually made me laugh and also got me thinking.
She, like MANY others, have the impression that it’s a glamorous job.
For the record – it is NOT.
Here are a few misconceptions. 🙂
There are hair and makeup people. Um, no. I would literally blow-dry and curl or straighten my hair at my desk at 4:30 a.m. before Daybreak, followed by a quick coat of makeup! Then, I’d do it again before I anchored mid-day (sometimes in the news car coming back from a story)! So, no pros to help us out. (At least not here in Buffalo – some of the bigger markets do have some, but not here).
There is a fabulous wardrobe department. Nope. Some reporters (good negotiators may get a wardrobe stipend) but there are no wardrobe folks. Maybe the Today Show has an entire staff devoted to getting everyone dressed up – but, nothing here. If we had a wardrobe department, I probably would not have gone on air with baby throw-up on my shoulder. Yes, that happened. When I first went back after Emma was born. I fed my sweet baby before I left for work. Oops.
There must be ‘normal’ hours. NOPE. There’s no 9-5 for the most part (maybe managers). There are early shifts, late shifts, split shifts, and weekend shifts. You’re on call for anything and everything that COULD happen. And you know that – it’s why they give you a newsroom phone. 🙂
You can write whatever you want. You actually can’t. I say that, but really – I did. I mean – with the shift and show I was on – and my long tenure – I was able to do just about anything I wanted. Most scripts do have to get looked over by a producer or manager though. It’s not 100% – but more often than not.
Newsrooms are beautiful, comfortable, and glamorous. NOT! They are huge, freezing, and filled with dust and spiders. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration. Kind of but not really.
If you’re on television, you make a lot of money. Ha. Not quite. In fact, reporters and anchors make far less than you might think. There are some who make a good amount – don’t get me wrong – but most don’t. Especially the newer ones – they should make more – but, it’s just not the case.
You are enemies with your competition! NO WAY! There are some reporters, photographers, anchors, and producers from other stations who I am happy to call great friends – and many others I admire very much. The truth is, they help each other sometimes. (Just don’t tell management) 🙂
Reporters only get good feedback from the community! With Twitter around, you know that is NOT true. I would say that 99% of my feedback was nice – but that 1% hurts. People can be mean – soooo mean. Most of my friends in the media read all of their emails, tweets, comments, etc – and they do get upset with some of the nasty remarks. So – be nice!
Everyone in the media is a a bleeding-heart liberal. NOPE. I can name (but I won’t) a half-dozen conservatives off the top of my head. While most reporters do sway to the left – not all of them do.
Journalism is just a job. For me anyway – it is not just a job. It is really a part of who I am. Curious by nature – need to know – wherever I go, whatever I do – I am always looking around, trying to figure things out. MOST folks are in the business for the right reasons, but there are some who “want to be on television.” True journalists care a great deal about our community, those living in it, those working for it, those who are running it, and those who need help. That being said, I know people who are not journalists who feel that way, too! I’ve always loved telling stories – and as cliche’ as it sounds – being a voice for the voiceless – is a huge responsibility.
Those are just some… there are more, but that’s it for now!
As for whether I miss it – I really don’t. I miss some people… but, I am doing my thing now – and loving every second of it. I think people are shocked when I tell them this. The lady today sure was.
The truth is – things in the business are different now. There are fewer resources, less time, and more pressure. You can’t – for the most part – take your time and really work a story. The stories I loved were people stories – they mattered more to me. And by the time I left – they mattered less to management.
That’s it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!!!!
Now, who wants to hear some actual newsroom dirt!? 🙂 🙂