Thanh Tan

A Whole Lotta Information, Not Enough Time

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I cringed at the sight of my story’s “title” on the assignment board today: sex offenders. The report is so much more complex than what is  implied by those two ridiculously overused words.

There’s a vast difference between the story that aired and the story I WISH had aired. Time limits are a bitch. I know they’re necessary, but when there’s a complex issue to cover such as transitioning “serious” sex offenders from a state hospital to a rehabilitation center in a residential neighborhood- there are many sides to hear out and give time to. Unfortunately, the state board I really needed to speak with responded to my call right before the show, so I could only fit that information in my “tag” after the news package. That took all of 25 seconds- and I’m sure my producer wasn’t happy about that. You see, I usually only get 15 seconds to give my final thoughts/observations. When you go ten seconds over, you’re taking time away from another story. So I have to pick and choose what I say very carefully from a whole bunch of notes I’ve gathered all day. I often cheat and add an extra sentence. Producers are control freaks. They really don’t like that. So now do you understand my daily predicament?

The good news is we have a web site and a great web staff. Shannon helped me post my story online with pictures and WAY more information. Writing the online version of my news reports gives me the chance to add quotes, links, and other information that can add context to what would otherwise just be a 90-second broadcast story.

Check out the broadcast and online versions here. I really wanted to stay away from the alarmist tone, but I think I could have done a better job. Next time.

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Written by Thanh Tan

December 29, 2007 at 7:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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