Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dear Feature Reporter...

The following are questions that viewers might have asked me.

Why did you become a feature reporter?

For the free food. It's an unwritten rule of feature reporting. If you produce a food story, you must eat the food on camera.

My short list has included tamales, ice cream sandwiches, cookies with crickets and ice cream with crickets. (The crickets add texture and crunch.)

And, thankfully, I don't have to declare those meals as income.

You do such an extraordinary job in such a noble profession. What's your secret?

Dog stories. I produce as many as I possibly can. Especially stories about goofy little dogs in costume. They make news directors and promotions writers salivate.

Can I become a feature reporter?

Sure, why not?

A wise man once told me I had no future in broadcasting and I should get out of the radio business. A couple weeks later, after years and years as a morning news announcer, he was fired during a station housecleaning.

And he went back to his original job as a welder.

Now, come to think of it, I did get out of the radio business.

Are there any training films for prospective feature reporters?

I would recommend "Kent Cares #47" by cartoon anchor and feature reporter, Kent Brockman.

"Hear that? It's the sound of children's laughter... silenced. That's because tomorrow, this old carousel, which has delighted young Americans for lo these past six years, will be torn down, to
make way for the future: a store that sells designer mouse pads."*


As a feature reporter, will I have to ride an elephant?

No. Small-market weekend anchors are required to ride an elephant when the circus comes to town. But not feature reporters.

You will, though, have to do a stand-up with a potbellied pig. Several times.

What has feature reporting taught you?

Everybody's much smarter than me. And many are a lot crazier.

*Excerpted from an animated TV series on another network that may or may not be Fox.

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