Veteran America-watcher, Godfrey Hodgson, writing in his 1980 study of the presidency, "All Things To All Men":

For all the minicams and the other technological advances of the past decade, reporting on television in the 1980s is still a little like what one wit called it in the early days: writing with a five-ton pencil.

I was a News Trainee at the BBC when I first read Hodgson's book. One of my most vivid memories is crouching behind Moira Stuart's desk in the TV Centre studio, frantically pressing a cue button as she read my evening news script about the Indian cricket team's arrival home after winning the World Cup. It was only a 30-second or so snippet of random shots of firecrackers and airport crowds, but the raw footage didn't arrive by satellite until a few minutes before the bulletin went on-air. I stayed upstairs in the newsroom, writing my deathless prose while a colleague sat a couple of floors downstairs in the editing suites, watching the pictures come in and talking me through them over the phone so that I could work out where to put words and where to leave pauses. I never actually saw the footage until the bulletin went out. Crazy. And draining too. It all went well in the end, but I began to realize TV was never going to be my idea of interesting work.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/02/has-much-changed-since-then-veteran.html|||2/28/2005 09:38:00 am|||||||||