by NATASHA VITALE
A simple question Brent Boynton asked me as I was shadowing the KNPB crew last Thursday really made me think about what lies ahead for me career-wise. He wanted to know what emphasis I was most interested in: newspaper, broadcast or radio. I used to know the definite answer to that question, back when I identified myself as a reporter and a writer. Working with the Nevada Media Alliance has brought me back my original approach to journalism before choosing an emphasis at the Reynolds School of Journalism: Do everything to the best of your ability and make sure your equipment batteries don’t die while you’re getting the story.
Being a newbie reporter covering the Nevada Legislature has solidified that approach. On my first day in Carson I thought I knew what to expect only to change plans last minute and end up running after Assemblyman William Horne, trying to keep up with the professionals, and simultaneously get audio and photos for our daily story. Of course that is the moment that the batteries in my audio recorder choose to die, but luckily my partner was able to climb over an armchair and plug it the equipment in so we could get the soundbite we needed.
I’m now trapped second row between a professional cameraman and the wall. There’s no way for me to get out and get multiple angles for my photos which was what I wanted to do, plus I can’t leave the audio equipment behind. So I tried to ignore the photographer, presumably for one of the newspapers in town, getting the angles that I wanted since she was free to move around the room. I had to make do with getting a shot that wasn’t blocked by another reporter and possibly getting a shot with Horne looking in my direction, which wasn’t very often since the reporter from the NBC station was very persistent about getting his attention in the opposite direction. Once I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get a shot without the press in it to some degree, I realized they actually help set the tone of the photo which is how I ended up getting my favorite photo of the day.
It was an exciting beginning to covering the legislature in Carson City and my experience since the first day has been the same. I’m learning a lot about everything from how to use the equipment, how to get lost, how to ask for directions and how to get the best response from the person you’re interviewing. I’ve realized that there is a positive side to my reluctance to being only a reporter or only a photographer and it’s that I’m going to come out of this experience knowing how to do a lot of things and hopefully be able to do them well.