Every now and then, I’ll see a bright-eyed high school or college student waltzing through our newsroom with an anchor they’ve asked to shadow for the day.
I always think the same thing. That poor 18 year old is getting a glimpse into a glamorous life they won’t likely obtain any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, our experienced anchor team can offer a wealth of journalism knowledge but if they really want a taste of what post-grad TV news reality is like, pick up a camera and follow me... Or you can read the book.
That’s right. Multimedia Journalists continue our quest for world domination.
We now have our very own book and it’s about time. The author, Matt Pearl, is an accomplished MMJ at WXIA in Atlanta. I’ve been a longtime admirer of his work. He’s all about embracing the MMJ lifestyle by “doing it all and doing it well”.
In The Solo Video Journalist, Pearl gathers a talented group of MMJ’s who have figuratively written the book on their craft – to literally do just that. The journalists featured in the book work at some of the finest TV stations across the country and have a countless mass of awards between them. Through their advice and his much of his own, Pearl breaks down each and every intricate facet of getting a story on air while working solo.
From the obvious explainers covering shooting, writing and editing to topics you may not initially think of, i.e. dress code and pre-planning, “The Solo Video Journalist” gives young journalists the road map to make it in a demanding and constantly changing business.
For the aspiring journalist, who may have never spent a day in the field working on a tight deadline, this book offers a look at reality and what to expect. Coming out of college five years ago, I was clueless. This book would have given me an invaluable head start.
Pearl starts and ends the book with words from Boyd Huppert, the great and powerful. The famed feature reporter is not an MMJ, but gets what it takes to be one. His storytelling advice is second to none and as inspiring as it comes.
As a one-women-storyteller myself, I was also pleased Pearl included two of my talented female colleagues, KARE 11’s Heidi Wigdahl and KUSA’s Anne Herbst. They gave an important perspective since there are so many women in this business, desperate for guidance.
Pearl realizes the MMJ concept can be daunting for those just staring out. I, along with every other video journalist on the planet is asked “where’s your photog” every other day. Solo VJ’s are often looked down upon as second class citizens in the TV industry. But Pearl’s book explains why the title should be worn as a badge of honor. The book’s contributors easily doing better work than most two-person teams.
The 35 dollar price tag for The Solo Video Journalist can be a little steep for those in their first job, barely making minimum wage, however the Kindle edition on Amazon has concsistently been priced at a much lower $19. Iff you’re looking to embrace the cards you’ve been dealt and do the best work possible, it’s worth the investment.
About the Author
Matt Pearl has worked in local television news for more than a decade and is regarded as one of the top
muntimedia journalist in the country. He received his degree at Northwestern University with a B. S. in Journalism and has sinice gone on to win numerous awards for his work, including a number of regional Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Currently, he is a news reporter for WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, a position he has held since 2009. He has worked at various news stations and spoken at conferences about being a TV multimedia journalist. He has been named multiple times the national Solo Video Journalist of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
Part I - Before the Story
1. Planning Your Day
2. Looking the Part
3. Gearing Up
Part 11 - In the Field
4. Shooting Video
5. Shooting Interviews
6. Recording a Stand-Up
Part III - Putting it Together
7. Logging and Writing
8. Editing the Final Product
Part IV - Looking Forward
9. Working the Web
10. Thinking Big
Sarah-Blake Morgan is an Emmy award winning storyteller for WBTV in Charlotte, North Carolina. With only her camera and tripod, she’s reported on major news stories across the country and in places like Cuba, Haiti and Ecuador. Sarah-Blake is passionate about empowering other young women to embrace and thrive as multimedia journalists. I’m passionate about spreading the MMJ spirit. If you have questions or would just like to chat, feel free to reach out to me at .