Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Herald Reporters pull double duty...

But aren't compensated for it.

Editor & Publisher has an interesting piece on the Herald's radio operation. The paper has had a partnership with WLRN (the local NPR station) for several years. The Herald provides news content and gets back sponsorship revenue and promotional value.

The Herald's Hirsch says the newscasts account for more local radio news in Miami than anything else. "It is the only English-language, all-news station in the market," he contends. The paper also posts each newscast on its Web site where it can be heard at any time.
I don't know how Hirsch can make that claim. In between newscasts WLRN airs many programs so it's not strictly news. Similarly Miami's WIOD, also an English language station, has a news/talk format.

Then we learn a little more about the inner workings of the Herald:
But what do the Herald staffers who already provide news for the print edition and the Web site think of the radio element? Many say they are not required to provide content and on-air reports, but it is encouraged. "I am comfortable with it and try to really make them good pieces," says Evan Benn, a three-year general assignment reporter. "It can range from an interview over the phone, which doesn't take much effort, to audio from an interview, and it is turned into an on-air report."
This "encouragement" sounds a lot like MHMC's blog initiative.
Herald reporters who provide radio content and reports are not paid extra, but many say they appreciate the opportunity...

But the radio reporting can add to the workload as much as writing, [Casey] Woods says. It can take up to three hours "with gathering sound and writing a script and recording it...

Curtis Morgan, a 20-year veteran of the Herald, welcomes the radio alternative but points to the lack of additional pay. "That is something I and others mentioned early on," he says. "But that is not part of this business formula. There are a lot of things we are asked to do, and it takes a lot of time away from other things."


Anonymous said...

This is happening all over the industry as media conglomeration continues. They call it "multimedia", which of course means multi-job descriptions.

In fact, many print reporters are now being required to learn how to use a video camera for online clips.

For their own benefit, it's great that the reporters learn these extra skills.

But it's no secret that the more they are required to do, the less time they have to actually write a thorough, well-researched article.

BS detector said...

Is this anything like the "encouragement" to do "volunteer" work in Cuba?