The Prez is coming to town

Bruce Ely / The Oregonian

Once when attending a career-building seminar aimed at broadcast journalists, the guest speaker, who’d had years of experience in this industry, issued a specific word of caution to us up-and-comers about our resume tapes.

Those are the tapes we desperately send out to news directors in markets higher than the one in which we currently work, hoping something in the first ten seconds doesn’t induce a gag reflex and prompt the tape to be yanked out. We call them tapes, but nowadays, it’s a dvd.

The lecturer said, “Don’t put the president’s-in-town story on your resume reel. Because EVERYBODY puts it on there. And it does not make you unique. It doesn’t mean you’re a great journalist. It simply means, you can adequately cover the story when the president comes to town.”

He was right.

Covering the president, while an extreme honor, merely means that you passed the security clearance at the federal level to get a press credential. You survived the world’s biggest hurry-up-and-wait drill. And you and your crew managed to not screw up your feed, or botch your audio, as you collected the key moments of the event (the entrance, the standing ovation, the exit) usually from a platform WAYYY in the back of the room.

Not to sound cynical, but that’s really what it amounts to be.

Still.

Tomorrow, President Obama comes to town. The last time he was here, he drew some 72-75,000 people to the bowl in Waterfront Park. It was, by all acccounts, an historic day. It caught the attention of the national media, it was the largest gathering of his 2008 campaign, and by golly, it kinda put Portland on the map.

The Oregonian newspaper has the A1 page proudly displayed in its newsroom.

Which is why I’m looking forward to his return. Not for any sort of political reason. You’d be hard pressed to figure out which political party I ascribe to. (hint: none)

Given the context of how much has happened since he took office, I enjoy the context of having the Big Man step on our turf. I appreciate the weight of the news event. And I love that he’s here because we have a hotly-contested gubernatorial campaign, which can only serve to energize the electorate.

I know. That sounds kind of wonky-wonk…but it’s true.

I dig it.

My only dilemma is that I will be filling in as an anchor tomorrow, which I just dumbly realized sitting here on my couch. Evon, the scheduler at work, asked me to co-anchor last week, and even though I spent the weekend telling people about Obama’s pending visit on Wednesday, I did not realize until roughly two minutes ago that I get to announce to our KATU viewers tomorrow evening: “The President’s in town.”

That’s pretty rad.

The reporter in me would rather be on scene, but hey, the anchor clip might look good on a resume tape, no?

(BTW, Mr. Boss-man, if you’re reading this, I will perform my professional duties to the best of my abilities, in whatever capacity I am asked. All aforementioned content is purely satirical and derivates from my alter-ego.)

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ryan M.
    Oct 19, 2010 @ 23:11:01

    I thoroughly enjoyed that blog, but I’m embarrassed to admit the one part of it that stuck out the most…you used the word “rad”. Which likely makes you my new favorite friend! 😀 I’m just sayin.

    Reply

  2. Dennis Anderson
    Oct 20, 2010 @ 01:04:20

    You are Portland’s best, Anna, and you are way more valuable at the anchor desk than “on a platform WAYYY in the back of the room” when the President does his prep rally.

    Reply

  3. Anthony
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 20:42:10

    Well put. Love the insight and background. Please keep this coming. You’re a terrific writer.

    Reply

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