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Thursday, March 04, 2010

KPRC 2 reporters Reyna and Jáquez caught in the act

I love covering the intersection of media and the Internet. My latest entry on this topic features how the media is now being covered by its subjects when trying to get the news. It's when pro and Net-citizen journalists collide (and the latter now includes anyone with a cell phone or camera)!

Case in point are KPRC 2 reporters Nefertiti Jáquez and Jennifer Reyna. I've received two recent examples where the reporters became the story online (one example was actually left in a comment on my blog).

Nefertiti Jáquez and photographer Byron Nichols went to report on the story of a tow truck driver who was allegedly shot at during a towing attempt. The Channel 2 team's news gathering became a post on the blog of one of the tow company's vendors.  The entry comes complete with photos on Flickr and a video of the KPRC interview on Vimeo:

Last week, we invited KPRC Local 2 news to Safety Vision to share a hair-raising tale of gunplay and survival. Here, reporter Nefertiti Jaquez met and interviewed Edward Wiley, a tow-truck driver, amateur comedian, and father-to-be who is happy to be alive. READ THE REST

Jennifer Reyna recently did a story on some new Houston Zoo additions. Once again her day at the zoo was chronicled on the Houston Zoo blog with text and photos:

Like last week when I got to take KPRC Channel 2’s Traffic Reporter Jennifer Reyna around the Zoo for a day. That’s right – the Jennifer Reyna who gets you to work on time every morning. READ MORE

The first thought one might have is what great publicity for the TV station. Clearly the story subjects are excited about being on TV, seeing how it is made and meeting the local celebrities. But I would imagine there are some unintended consequences journalists must also consider (at this point I am not referencing the above reports by Jáquez and Reyna anymore, the two reporters or their station for this matter...let's go hypothetical from this point on).

A TV news crew has always been responsible for representing the station in a favorable light while out in the field. Let's assume most do. But when crews are confronted by still and video cameras chronicling everything they do while out on a story - this is even more important. If a reporter makes one smart ass crack that is taken in the wrong way, they could be on the front page of YouTube a few hours later and featured on the likes of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Not probably the best PR for a television station.

I am no legal expert, but could something bad come out of a reporter being recorded while conducting an interview? Now there is no reason an interview subject should not be able to record an interview that I know of, however I can imagine some kind of trouble coming out of this in certain situations. Can't you? At least it could be bad for the reporter if they are having an off day (everyone has one) or just doesn't know the facts very well (assigned quickly after another story falls through for example). How would you like interviews you conducted on your first job archived online forever? Just another reason for a reporter to be cognizant of the facts for every story they are assigned.

Don't let me freak you out. The changes coming to both the Internet and media are vast but can also be beneficial to everyone. I think it is important to take a step back once in a while and really analyze what is going on. Things are moving fast and you do not want to get accidentally swept away.

I guess you could say turnabout is fair play in the KPRC case. Reyna chronicled the coverage of her zoo story on her blog.

- Nefertiti Jáquez and Mike McGuff on Garf's 950 KPRC show today
- KPRC 2's Jennifer Reyna goes out for good cause
- Nefertiti Jaquez lands at KPRC 2 Houston
- KPRC 2's Jennifer Reyna behind the scenes glance COMMENT: Click to leave your thoughts on this post here