It’s the one through-line of every great story I see.
Television news constantly forces the hands of the people who bring it. At various points throughout the evolution of a story, a reporter, photographer, or multimedia journalist must decide when they have done enough:
Did I do every interview I can do for this story, or do I need to find another?
Do I have enough footage for this story, or do I need to shoot more?
Is this script exactly as I want it, or should I read over it again?
How much time do I have to keep editing, or do I need to submit my story for air?
These are the questions that daily confront TV news journalists, and they are often answered by the ticking clock of the deadline. But more than that, they come down to effort.
I thought about this frequently as I watched this year’s video winners for the NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism awards.
In each one, I saw numerous moments that only succeeded because the winning photographer made an extra piece of effort, be it during the gathering or editing process.
This year, I was one of those winning photographers; as I mentioned last week, I received 1st place in the category of Solo Video Journalism: General News. I won for the story of a Madison County, Ga. man who rescued a baby on the side of the road; the piece went viral and aired, in slightly edited form, on NBC Nightly News. As I wrote then, that story is a quintessential example of the value of effort.
Here are four other winning entries that I found particularly powerful — and the lessons I took from them: (more…)