Networks Fill Journalists’ Backpacks Gradually

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By Chris Ariens Comment

Engel_3.5.jpgIn his Monday media column, WaPo’s Howard Kurtz writes about the growth in digital newsgathering on both the local and national levels.

“I would not say cost wasn’t a factor, but it was not the driving factor,” says Alexandra Wallace, senior vice president at NBC, which began the switch in earnest four years ago. “Sometimes you can get an intimacy with a tiny camera that you wouldn’t get with a 2 1/2-foot camera sitting on someone’s shoulder… I mostly consider everyone here a digital journalist.”

Kurtz also talks with Richard Engel, NBC’s chief foreign correspondent who carries a small, $3,000 camera with him.

“On the plus side it gives you an extra pair of eyes and lets you spread out on a larger field. The downside is, I’m not a professional cameraman. My cameraman is trained to do this. It’d be presumptuous of me to think I can do what he can do. You’ll never get the quality that he does.”

Related: The Shot Heard ‘Round the Industry. Backpack Journalism on the Rise

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