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Crossing mediums: Part I

A number of print journalists in the last year have transitioned from ink and paper to the world of broadcast. I noticed this trend earlier in 2013, and have been keeping tabs on media professionals who have migrated from newspaper to television or radio. In May, Miami Herald reporter and Web producer Andrea Torres decided to give television journalism a try when she joined WPLG-TV in Pembroke Park, Fla., as an assignment editor. She shared with inVocus what it was like to cross between mediums and her reasons for leaving behind the trappings of print:

Q: How did you end up leaving the Miami Herald and joining the station?

Andrea Torres (AT): I love the Miami Herald. I wasn’t looking for a job. WPLG-TV assistant news director Steve Owen sent me a DM [direct message] on Twitter saying that he had followed my work for a long time. His question: “Ever thought about TV?” I wanted to learn, so I embraced the opportunity.

 Q: What was it like transitioning from one medium to another? Did you have an adjustment period?

AT: I walked into WPLG-TV as an assignment editor on May 14. A few weeks later, I was sent to Sanford to help with coverage of the George Zimmerman trial as an assistant producer. I filed multimedia content for the website and helped the reporter cover the proceedings in the courtroom when she needed to be outside. That was when I learned of the importance of keeping a time log when taking notes. I’m still adjusting. Every day I learn something new.

 Q: What are the major differences between the two mediums in terms of your responsibilities, or pace?

AT: In TV, there is less time to fact check. The pace also makes it difficult to put stories into context. At the Miami Herald, I had more time to refine the product and make it thoughtful, whereas in TV the information is delivered immediately.

 Q: Do you ever miss print? Why or why not?

 AT: The Miami Herald focuses on its duties as the fourth estate. Also, the Herald’s ability to assign reporters to specific beats allows for the development of expertise and solid sources.

 Q: How do you think working cross mediums is reflective of the current media landscape?

AT: The Web has increased a demand for multimedia reporters and producers who can tell stories with the use of different platforms. Today’s users expect complimentary content such as a breaking news brief on their mobile app, an interactive graphic, video, audio and a photo slide show.

Check back on Wednesday when a journalist from the Plain Dealer talks about her migration from print to broadcast.

–Katrina M. Mendolera

 

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